Principles of Holistic Management of Skin Disease

Sam Gibbs


In the last 50–100 years medical practice has become increasingly shaped and influenced by technological advances. The idea of holistic management is in part a reaction against what is perceived as the increasingly technical and impersonal nature of medical care, particularly in so‐called developed societies. Holistic practice embraces a range of concepts but essentially refers to the appreciation and inclusion of broader social, psychological and spiritual factors in medical practice. Thus the holistic management of skin disease involves considering the whole patient and not just their disease and the technical aspects of its diagnosis and treatment. Social, psychological and spiritual factors can have a direct influence on the effectiveness of treatments, particularly in dermatological practice, although there is a dearth of good research in this area. Patient education and empowerment, including the involvement of patients in self‐help groups, is also an increasingly important component of holistic care.
Keywords holistic, technology, disease management, psychological factors, patient education, patient empowerment


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