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Dermatology Online Journal

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A new somatic-type delusional disorder subtype: delusion inversus


The interplay between psychiatric and dermatologic conditions has been recognized for decades as evidenced by the widely accepted classification system of psychocutaneous disorders: (1) primary dermatologic disorder with psychiatric sequelae, (2) primary dermatologic disorder exacerbated by stress, (3) primary psychiatric disorder with dermatologic sequelae, and (4) miscellaneous. However, there is minimal literature regarding dermatologic patients who demonstrate a preoccupation with a more severe cutaneous disorder despite evidence confirming a diagnosis of a minor, treatable skin condition. These patients are a hybrid of the first and fourth categories and should be classified under a new entity known as delusion inversus. These patients have a primary dermatologic condition; however, they believe their condition to be more severe and malignant than it is, despite evidence to the contrary. Their beliefs are pathological and analogous to delusion disorder somatic type. Given the scarcity of data concerning delusion inversus, the epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of the disorder as described in this review is extrapolated from reported cases of delusion disorder and delusion disorder somatic-type. Often these patients will present to a non-psychiatric, outpatient clinic for medical care. Thus, it is imperative that dermatologists are able to identify the condition and manage the patient appropriately.

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