Is Stress Causing Your Skin Problems?
Often the holidays can up the stress quite a bit in a lot of folks lives. Dealing with the rush, kids out of school, all the extra social events, and those relatives you get a break from all year long can really push a few buttons at times.
Not surprisingly, I hear from some clients that their skin is acting up during these periods... adding more stress to an already stressful time.
I've often linked stress to more skin issues. For instance, the feeling of being at war with your skin can create more emotional strain contributing more to the problem your stressing out over.
I know this connection exists from working with so many clients personally. What do the experts say? Pretty much the very same thing.
Again this year I am sharing a great article on stress and the skin by several medical professionals courtesy of WebMD. I hope you find the article helpful. Now, take a deep breath, relax, and read... :-)
The Mind-Skin Connection
Does stress cause your acne or rosacea to flare up? Or do you chew your nails to the quick? Experts say emotions can have an impact on your skin.
Any time Amanda feels nervous, she breaks out all over her 13-year-old face. Jeremy often feels so sorry for himself that he has eczema that he shuts himself off from the world during bad flares. And the only way that Kim can stop her obsessive thoughts is by pulling out her hair.
In these and many other ways, the mind and the skin are intimately intertwined. You name it: acne, eczema, hives, rosacea, psoriasis, alopecia (hair loss), vitiligo (depigmented white spots on the skin), trichotillomania (hair pulling) and self-mutilation disorders, many skin disorders take their roots from or place their roots in the psyche.
Experts are calling this new field "psychodermatology."
"Psychodermatogy is a field that addresses the impact of an individual's emotion as it relates to the skin," says Karen Mallin, PsyD, an instructor in the departments of psychiatry & behavioral sciences and dermatology & cutaneous surgery of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
"I think [psychodermatology] is going to be growing by leaps and bounds [because] dermatology is ready for a more integrated approach with other fields such as psychology, psychiatry, and even complementary medicine," says Mallin, who recently completed a postdoctoral year in psychodermatology at the same hospital where she now works. Such an integrated approach allows for new treatment possibilities including antidepressants, relaxation therapy, or counseling that can alleviate the mood problems that result from or cause skin problems.
"The mind and skin are connected on many different levels," Mallin tells us. "A lot of nerve endings are connected to the skin, which wraps around the organs, so as emotions are played out neurologically, they can be expressed through the skin just as stress can be expressed through gastrointestinal symptoms, increased anxiety, or hypertension."
Take acne, for example. When you are tense, your body releases stress hormones including cortisol, which may increase the skin's oil production, making you prone to pimples.
And, Mallin says, "in some autoimmune diseases such as alopecia (hair loss) and vitiligo, scientists now show markers that a stressful event can trigger the autoimmune reaction."
In other cases, people have truly psychiatric diseases that present as dermatological ones, including cutting, nail biting, hair pulling, some tic behaviors, and delusional parasitosis, a mistaken belief that one is being infested by parasites such as mites, lice, fleas, spiders, worms, bacteria, or other organisms.
Bruce Katz, MD, director of the Juva Skin and Laser Center and the director of the cosmetic surgery and laser clinic at Mount Sinai Medical School, both in New York, explains it this way: "It's the target organ theory, and certain people have different target organs that channel stress". "Some people get ulcers, some people get migraines, and other people get rashes as the skin is their target organ," he says.
That's why when "we have patients who come in with stress-induced or neurotic conditions related to psychological issues, we refer them to a psychologist or psychiatrist or even acupuncture," Katz says.
So it is clear that stress is a contributor to skin problems and in some cases can even be the direct cause. The next time you start to feel the stress creeping in try to take a time out and relax even if its only for 10 minutes.
Breaking the stress connection allows your body and your skin to disengage from what ever is going on and just might prevent a breakout or other skin flare up.
There's definitely more things I can share with you that can make a real difference in your health and your life from a natural perspective, so make sure to click around some of the other posts on this blog.
I've also put together a 45-minute video that walks you through exactly what I did and it can help to get rid of whatever skin problem you may be dealing with.
All you have to do is follow through to the next link to watch it and you will have a complete understanding of what is causing your struggle and what to do about it starting today.
Click Here To Watch The Get Clear Skin In 7 Days Or Less Free Video
Wishing you a healthy and joyous day,
"Inspiring Healthy Choices For Better Living."