Skin disorders

What are skin disorders in schizophrenia?

People with schizophrenia often show increased rates of co-occurring conditions, including skin disorders. Psoriasis is a long-term autoimmune condition that accelerates the life cycle of skin cells. This allows cells to build up on the surface of the skin, which form scales and red patches that are often itchy and painful. Pemphigoid is a rare autoimmune disorder that can develop at any age, but is most often seen in elderly patients. It results in skin rashes and blistering on the legs, arms, and abdomen. Alopecia areata is another autoimmune disease, but rather than affecting the skin directly, it is characterised by non-scarring hair loss on the scalp, face or body. Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder of the hair follicles, characterized by recurrent lesions affecting the apocrine glands including nodules, abscesses, fistulas and draining sinus tracts.

What is the evidence for skin disorders in people with schizophrenia?

Moderate quality evidence finds small increases in rates of psoriasis and pemphigoid in people with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders, with no differences in rates of alopecia areata. High quality evidence finds people with hidradenitis suppurativa had higher rates of schizophrenia than people without hidradenitis suppurativa. They also had higher rates of schizophrenia than people with psoriasis.

October 2021

Image: ©kanachaifoto –

Last updated at: 2:48 am, 26th October 2021
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.