Dermatitis artefacta

Michael Joseph Lavery, Carolyn Stull, Iain McCaw, Rachel B Anolik
Clinics in Dermatology 2018, 36 (6): 719-722
Dermatitis artefacta, also known as factitial dermatitis, is a condition whereby self-induced skin damage is the means used to satisfy a conscious or unconscious desire to assume the sick role. It is particularly common in women and in those with an underlying psychiatric diagnosis or external stress. The diagnosis is one of exclusion, and it is often difficult to confirm, with patients rarely admitting their role in the creation of their lesions. Treatment can be challenging, and management should adopt a multidisciplinary team approach composed of dermatologists and mental health professionals. We present a literature review of dermatitis artefacta, highlighted by a case report of a patient with bilateral ulcerations to the legs, which after thorough investigation represented dermatitis artefacta.

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