Psoriasis and atopic dermatitis are chronic skin diseases that greatly affect the quality of life. Both diseases can be triggered or exacerbated by stress.
We aimed to differentiate personality traits between patients with chronic skin conditions and people treated for stress in a pilot study.
Patients participating voluntarily in educational programs in Belgium and Switzerland were recruited to complete personality trait questionnaires, including the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) and the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ). A comparison was made with patients treated for work-related stress.
A total of 48 and 91 patients suffering from skin diseases and work-related stress, respectively, were included in the study. Based on the questionnaires, we found that dermatology patients were less persistent and impulsive than those with work-related stress. Dermatology patients also exhibited more rigidness and less focus on performance. Finally, patients with work-related stress seem more likely to change in response to health-promoting programs than patients with chronic dermatoses.
Patients with chronic skin diseases may perceive and cope with stress differently in comparison to patients with work-related stress due to inherent personality traits. Therefore, stress coping mechanisms may differ among different diseases. More research is needed into the design of educational interventions and the impact of personality traits in disease-specific groups.

© 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel.