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Year : 1995  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 178-179

Dermatitis artefacta

Correspondence Address:
K Krishna

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 20952943

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How to cite this article:
Krishna K. Dermatitis artefacta. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1995;61:178-9

How to cite this URL:
Krishna K. Dermatitis artefacta. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 1995 [cited 2020 Feb 20];61:178-9. Available from: http://www.ijdvl.com/text.asp?1995/61/3/178/4197

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A 20-year-old, apparently mentally stable nursing student, presented with multiple, grouped linear cuts about 0.5-1 cm in length in bizarre configuration over the flexor aspect of the left forearm just below the antecubital fossa. There was initial strong denial by the patient that she participated in causing the lesions herself, but later she admitted that she had inflicted herself with the scalpel blade in her right hand in order to escape duties and get admitted in hospital.

Factitious dematitis or dermatitis artefacta is the term applied to self inflicted skin lesions made consciously and often with the intent to elicit sympathy, escape responsibilities, or collect disability insurance.[1] Many use their lesions to obtain the attention, to maintain contact with others, and thus to fill their emotional emptiness.[2] The visible skin lesions can be understood as an attempt at non-verbal communication subserving an appeal function.[3] The lesions of dermatitis artefacta are bizarre in configuration, single or multiple, confined to areas accessible to the hands, and produced by a variety of means.[2]

The psychological investigations suggest a personality structure characterised by inward - looking self - centered attitudes leading to increasing isolation against a background of emotional disturbances during the formative years.[3]

  References Top

1.Arnold HL Jr, Odom RB, James WD. Pruritus and neurocutaneous dermatoses. In: Diseases of the skin - clinical dermatology (Arnold HL Jr, Odom RB, James WD, eds). 8th edn. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Company, 1990;51-67.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Koblenzer CS. Psychosomatic concepts in dermatology-A dermatologist psychoanalyst's viewpoint. Arch Dermatol 1983;119:501-12.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  
3.Fabisch W. Psychiatric aspects of dermatitis artefacta. Br J Dermatol 1980;102:29-34.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  


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