Pemphigus and psychological stress: a review of the literature



Introduction: Psychological stress has been associated with the course of several autoimmune skin diseases and reported a possible factor in triggering and aggravating for pemphigus in predisposed patients.
Aim: The aim of this study is to present an upgrade of the scientific literature on the relation between pemphigus and psychological stress.
Methods: To assure a comprehensive investigation, we have performed searches on LILACS, MedLine, PEPSIC, PubMed, SCOPUS and Web of Science databases. The terms used were pemphigus, psychological stress and psychological distress. We have selected works published on journals indexed in different online databases, without distinction as to language and date of the studies.
Results and Discussion: Initially, 22 works had fulfilled the selection criteria. After discarding publications which deviated from the subject, 9 works were selected for analysis. Among the selected articles, one was a theoretical review, five case studies, two case-control studies and one documental analysis. Publications discuss the importance of recognizing the influence of exogenous factors, such as psychological stress, on the development and evolution of pemphigus, since the health condition of the patients can be improved through the recognition, validation and treatment of their psychological issues, associating psychological assistance to the immunosuppressive treatment.
Conclusion: The report of stressor events by patients at the Dermatology Clinical is frequently observed, however, the relation between psychological stress and the development or aggravation of pemphigus is a recent subject among researchers of the field.

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