Prurigo nodularis (PN) and lichen simplex chronicus (LSC) are linked to mental health disorders and emergencies requiring hospitalization, according to study results presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Virtual Meeting Experience (AAD VMX) 2020, held online from June 12 to 14, 2020.

Psychosocial distress has been associated with both PN and LSC, which can be devastating pruritic diseases; however, not much is known about mental health comorbidities in these diseases. Researchers examined data from the 2002-2012 Nationwide Inpatient Sample and a representative sample of approximately 20% of annual hospitalizations in the United States (n=87,053,155). In the study population, 10,210 patients had an inpatient diagnoses of PN or LSC.

In a multivariable logistic regression, PN and LSC were associated with having 1 or more mental health disorders (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.26; 95% CI, 2.13-2.41). All 15 mental health disorders were linked to PN and LSC, including personality, impulse control, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, developmental, pediatric, psychotic, substance use, mood, anxiety, adjustment, and cognitive disorders. Suicide or intentional self-inflicted injury and a history of mental health disorders or addiction were also significantly correlated with PN and LSC.

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Furthermore, PN and LSC were associated with increased primary hospitalization (aOR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.91-2.45) for 5 of the mental health disorders analyzed, specifically developmental, psychotic, cognitive, and mood disorders, as well as a history of mental health disorders.

The researchers concluded, “Future research is warranted to improve the screening and management of MH disorders in PN/LSC patients.”


Singam V, Silverberg JI. Prurigo nodularis and lichen simplex chronicus are associated with considerable mental health burden in US inpatients. Presented at: AAD VMX 2020; June 12-14, 2020. Abstract/Poster 18888.

This article originally appeared on Dermatology Advisor