The 30-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) (Goldberg, 1972) was administered to 196 consecutive new dermatology out-patients and 40 consecutive admissions to dermatology beds. Thirty per cent of the out-patients and 60 per cent of the in-patients obtained high scores, while half the high scorers in each group scored high on the Wakefield Self-Assessment Depression Scale (Snaith et al, 1971). These findings suggest that dermatology out-patients have a higher prevalence of psychiatric disorder than the general population, and dermatology in-patients a higher prevalence than general medical in-patients. High GHQ scores were associated with (a) diagnoses of acne, eczema, psoriasis or alopecia; with (b) extensive lesions on exposed parts of the body; and with (c) the use of high potency topical steroid. We indicate other areas that might be profitably explored in a full-scale study.