Body dysmorphic disorder: Beyond skin deep

Z. Husain, E. J. Janniger, J. A. Krysicka, G. Micali, R. A. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a psychiatric illness that primarily affects adolescents and young adults of both sexes. Patients have a distorted self-image, which manifests as a preoccupation with slight or imagined defects in the face, nose, skin, hair or any part of the body that ultimately interferes with daily functioning. It is a relatively common yet long unrecognized problem. Patients often seek multiple physician assessments for their perceived defects and request cosmetic procedures. Early intervention can prevent a cycle of multiple surgeries, as the outcome is usually poor and may lead to exacerbation of symptoms, anger and litigation. BDD is a disabling, and even life-threatening, condition; it can lead to major depression and suicidal ideation. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and cognitive behavioral therapy are the mainstay of treatment and are beneficial in most patients. A multidisciplinary approach is strongly recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-452
Number of pages6
JournalGiornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


  • Acne
  • Adolescence
  • Body dysmorphic disorders
  • Cosmetics
  • Suicide


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