Dysaesthetic penoscrotodynia may be a somatoform disorder: results from a two‐centre retrospective case series

Research paper by M. C. Anyasodor, R. E. Taylor, A. Bewley, J. M. R. Goulding

Indexed on: 09 Mar '16Published on: 01 Mar '16Published in: Clinical and Experimental Dermatology


Dysaesthetic penoscrotodynia (DPSD) is a poorly understood disorder, in which men experience distressing symptoms such as burning pain in their genital skin. Drugs for neuropathic pain are often used, but with little success.To review a series of patients with DPSD to highlight common themes and response to treatment.Ten consecutive patients with DPSD were identified from specialist male genital dermatology and psychodermatology clinics at two centres. Clinical details, including psychiatric history, were reviewed retrospectively. Patients with no previously diagnosed psychiatric illness completed either the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)‐7 scale and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)‐9 depression scale, or the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI).Of the 10 patients, 9 had known or newly diagnosed psychopathology. All patients were offered psychodermatological treatment, was accepted by seven patients. All of those who accepted psychodermatological treatment experienced an improvement in their genital symptoms. When post‐treatment scores were collected, improvement in psychiatric symptoms accompanied improvement in genital symptoms.Psychopathology is almost invariably present in individuals with DPSD, yet these patients rarely volunteer such information. DPSD is most likely to constitute a functional somatic symptom disorder, hence psychodermatological treatment is indicated for its management. This concept reflects a significant change in the approach to this condition.