How Skin Health and Mental Health are Connected
Mental health is one of the aspects that affect our everyday life in several ways. It affects how we feel, think, act and cope with different situations. Have you ever felt stomach pain when you are anxious? Or did you have a headache when you were feeling overwhelmed? That’s because your mental health influences your body and can cause psychosomatic symptoms.
The skin is the largest organ of the human body and unfortunately, it is affected but also affects mental health. It is a bidirectional relationship and thankfully nowadays it is widely accepted and several specialists appeared in recent years to help you deal with it such as psycho-dermatologists that help people deal with skin problems by addressing the interaction between skin and mind.
Some of the negative emotions you feel daily such as stress, anxiety, fear, and pressure have an impact on your skin. It is believed that they can trigger acne, hives, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, and other skin conditions since the hormones produced can cause an inflammatory response that damages the skin barrier. Also, stress, one of the emotion most people feel every day, release the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, from your sympathetic nervous system. Cortisol affects the sebaceous glands of the skin causing excess oil production that leads to clogged pores, acne breakouts, and other skin problems. In addition, some mental health illnesses such as depression interfere with the ability to practice basic hygiene as well as skincare. This can affect widely the skin along with the negative emotions.
Part of the circle is also the fact that skin conditions affect mental health. People with chronic conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis reportedly have lower self-esteem and confidence, feel anxious, depressed and helpless but also feel neglected by society. Many people with skin disease often have social anxiety and avoid face-to-face meetings that may have an impact on their social life and relationships which may cause more stress and anxiety. Have you ever felt that you don't want to go to a party or at work/school because of your face redness and a pimple? Our skin image affects us every day even if we don't feel ''extreme'' emotions.Skin and mental health are in a vicious circle and there are several examples of how they affect each other, they are interconnected so they need to be approached by a specialist.
If you feel that you are trapped in that circle, you can't control your emotions and your skin conditions affect your everyday life then the best option is to consult a specialist, either a dermatologist or a psychologist, or even better a psycho-dermatologist. It is important to understand the relationship between your mind and your skin, accept your condition and establish an effective treatment based on your needs. Mental care is self-care so don’t be afraid to ask for help to change your everyday perspective of life.