As a person thinks, so does the body react. It’s not a difficult concept to wrap our minds around. If a person is anxious, depressed, or just plain stressed out to the max, the body is going to produce physiological symptoms. When it comes to nonstop emotional stress, the skin is like a drum being beaten by a gong all day long. The skin reacts with sudden acne breakouts, rashes, itching, strange bumps, heavy perspiration, hives and lesions. Existing skin conditions like rosacea, eczema or psoriasis may worsen.
The mind-body connection as it relates to stress and its impact on the skin has given rise to psychodermatology. This scientific field of study looks at how emotional stress and anxiety can manifest themselves as physical symptoms on the skin. In Miami, rated the third most stressful city in America in a 2012 study by CNBC.com, residents have to deal with a variety of stressors in the form of traffic congestion, hurricanes, violent crime, unemployment, and other factors. Stress ratchets up the body’s production of cortisol and other hormones which cause the sebaceous glands in the skin to produce more oil. Frequent acne breakouts often result. Stress also makes the skin more sensitive and reactive to allergens.
Research has found that medical intervention combined with cosmetic treatments can help people to cope with stress and also feel better about themselves by having an improved appearance. In a 2008 study to measure the effects of Botox® injections on lifestyle and emotional well being, 29 percent said they felt less anxious, 36 percent felt more calm and relaxed, and 49 percent felt more optimistic.
Stress is a normal part of life but sometimes, depending on our circumstances, things can get out of hand. Getting the mind right is the first task. Getting the medical attention we need in conjunction with good advice from a qualified dermatologist is no less important.
To learn more about how stress can impact your appearance and ways to combat it, contact leading Miami dermatologists Drs. Diane Walder, Cynthia Golomb and Stacy Chimento of Bay Harbor Islands, Florida, at (305) 866-2177.