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March 2000

Hypnosis in Dermatology

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa.

Arch Dermatol. 2000;136(3):393-399. doi:10.1001/archderm.136.3.393

Background  Hypnosis is an alternative or complementary therapy that has been used since ancient times to treat medical and dermatologic problems.

Objective  To describe the various uses for hypnosis as an alternative or complementary therapy in dermatologic practice.

Methods  A MEDLINE search was conducted from January 1966 through December 1998 on key words related to hypnosis and skin disorders.

Results  A wide spectrum of dermatologic disorders may be improved or cured using hypnosis as an alternative or complementary therapy, including acne excoriée, alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis, congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma, dyshidrotic dermatitis, erythromelalgia, furuncles, glossodynia, herpes simplex, hyperhidrosis, ichthyosis vulgaris, lichen planus, neurodermatitis, nummular dermatitis, postherpetic neuralgia, pruritus, psoriasis, rosacea, trichotillomania, urticaria, verruca vulgaris, and vitiligo.

Conclusion  Appropriately trained clinicians may successfully use hypnosis in selected patients as alternative or complementary therapy for many dermatologic disorders.

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