New study links itch in skin conditions (including psoriasis) to clinical depression

A new study has found that “the presence of itch in dermatological patients is significantly associated with clinical depression” and suicidal thoughts.

The study, of more than 4,500 people across 13 European countries, compared four groups of people: those with dermatological (skin) diseases like psoriasis who reported having itch, those with the diseases but without itch, a group of people without any of those diseases but with itch, and a group without those diseases and without itch.

While the association between itch and depression might not seem far-fetched to those who have faced chronic itch, the results had some oddities. For example, there was no significant difference in depression rates found between those with long-term itch as opposed to short term, or between those with mild versus severe itch. Only itch vs. no itch had a significant association.

The study also found that 70% of the psoriasis patients in the study reported itch, in line with previous results (some studies actually find a higher rate of itch among psoriasis patients).

If you have battled itch and/or depression, drop us a line. We would love to get your thoughts on these issues.

[Last updated 10-31-2019]