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Dermatitis Artefacta in a Child

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The high visibility of dermatologic diseases and their easy accessibility make the skin a primary and direct target for dysfunctional behaviors. Self-harm tendencies can frequently be expressed through dermatologic lesions, and dermatitis artefacta falls within this clinical frame. The occurrence of this cutaneous manifestation in children is very rare, with a peak of greater frequency in adolescence. We describe the characteristics of a multidisciplinary intervention—dermatologic and psychologic. Our pediatric patient displays a dermatologic picture that has no etiologic confirmation. The source of this disorder must therefore be found in socio-relational difficulties within the family and school environments, which lead the patient to self-harm behaviors that have a high communication value.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Clinical Psychology and Psychosomatic Psychotherapy Service 2: VII Division Pediatric Dermatology, Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata – IRCCS, Rome, Italy

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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