Skin care tips from a dermatologist
The answer is yes. Experts agree that stress does not cause skin problems, but can aggravate the symptoms.
The authors of a detailed scientific review from Germany come to the conclusion that “there is growing evidence that stress in terms of psychosocial stress changes the ability of the skin – through neuroendocrine and immune changes – to respond to environmental problems. Especially in the case of skin damage, for example, due to a chronic disease such as atopic dermatitis, a more rapid and serious exacerbation of the skin disease occurs during psychosocial stress. Therefore, it seems obvious: anything that reduces stress should also reduce inflammation. It may also play a role in the development of skin tumors. ” (one)
As a dermatologist, I know that skin problems cause stress. Over the years, I also noticed that when my patients are under stress, their skin problems are much worse. For 30 years of practice, I even saw patients who had a surge of basal cell skin cancer on their skin for several years when they were under severe life stress. As soon as stress disappeared, their skin ceased to form basal cell carcinoma.
Reducing stress can help improve skin problems.
Now that researchers are developing neuroendocrine immunological pathways for skin problems, we know that reducing stress is an important component for improving them. Regardless of whether the problem is classical eczema (atopic dermatitis), rosacea, psoriasis, acne, urticaria, and even skin cancer, the neuroendocrine immune state of your overall physiology will be affected by stress – just like your skin. Stress, whether acute or chronic, changes the immune balance of your body, and this will affect your skin problems.
Any patient with a skin problem will tell you that this problem also causes stress. It could be the question “who came first, the question about the chicken or the egg” with stress and skin problems. Now we can say that no matter what comes first, reducing stress will help. It is important.
How can you reduce stress to help your skin problem?
Attentiveness was shown to help.
According to Susan Abby, MD, "dermatology was actually the first area that demonstrated the effects of awareness … because the skin was seen as an organ that responds to emotional stimuli and psychological influences."
Dr. Abby gave, I think, a really important example that can help you create a fundamental shift in skin problems: “Instead of the treatment used to get rid of skin problems that prevent and aesthetically unpleasant awareness, we’ll bring us the prospect of compassion for yourself, applying treatment. "
There are forms of therapy based on awareness, as well as reducing stress. There are memorable ribbons and books. Dr. Abbey recommends Ph.D. John Kabat-Zinn, Executive Director of the Center for Medicine, Healthcare and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
I read several of his books. They helped me in treating breast cancer. In my experience, mindfulness helps you deal with stress with less reactivity. I'm a big fan. I always have a book of mindfulness by my bed to read before falling asleep. Ten years ago, I also studied awareness in everyday life for several years at a local care center, and I see a therapist who helps me, with my personal approach, respond to my life stresses more consciously. I increased all these awareness tools during the year when I was treated for breast cancer. That helped.
Mindfulness does not take the place of medical care, she supports it.
I used awareness tools during breast cancer treatment along with chemotherapy and surgeries. I know that modulating stress helped me cure my physiology well.
The combination of care with lifestyle recommendations is currently more common in dermatology.
As a dermatologist, I know the value of complex treatment of skin diseases, both with the help of traditional medical care, and what is now called integrative care. This includes mindfulness, diet and exercise tips, and stress reduction. Patients receive dermatological care, and we talk about their lives, stress and nutrition, as well as how we can use them to help with their healing. For example, my complex dermatological care for skin problems may include:
Step 1: I start with the building blocks of skin care to heal the skin problem and support remission
- For eczema or psoriasis, we use hypoallergenic and moisturizing skin care with VaniCream soap and my natural lotion.
- For seborrhea or rosacea, we would use my redness kit, daily face cream and Citrix sunscreen or Sheer Strength Pure physical spray
- For acne, we would use my Ultimate Acne Solutions Kit and daily face cream for normal and oily skin or my Pityrosporum Folliculitis Kit.
Step 2: I add the appropriate prescription drugs as needed.
Step 3: Then I give advice on lifestyle support to help lower the physiology of the inflammation of the body. These include recommendations for a low inflammatory diet (described in my e-book), regular sleep, regular exercise, appropriate to their level of physical fitness, and stress reduction, such as the practice of mindfulness.
I am also a big fan of being in nature as often as possible, so this is usually a recommendation – along with recommendations for sun protection, of course.
I am pleased to see a thorough scientific study in support of stress reduction as an important therapeutic aspect of medical care in dermatology.
Good self-care, including mindfulness, has now become a major, not an alternative, and this is a real step forward!
- Peters Eva M.J., Stressful skin? Molecular psychosomatic information about the causes and effects of stress in dermatological diseases, Journal of the German Dermatological Society, Volume 14, Issue 3, March 2016 https://doi.org/10.1111/ddg.12957
- Fordham B, Griffiths CE, Bundy S. An experimental study of cognitive therapy based on awareness in psoriasis. Psychol Health Honey. 2015; 20 (1): 121-7.
- Montgomery K, Norman P, Messenger AG, Thompson AR. The importance of mindfulness in psycho-social disorders and quality of life among dermatologists. Br j dermatol, 2016 May 12.
about the author
Dr. Bailey Skin Care