Link Between Skin and Stress PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 05 September 2011 05:05
To understand the complex relationship between stress/distress and the skin, dermatologist and clinical psychologist Richard G. Fried, MD, PhD, FAAD, of Yardley, Pa., noted it is important to consider the biological response that happens when a person experiences stress. Neuropeptides, the chemicals released by skin's nerve endings, are the skin's first line of defense from infection and trauma.

When responding to protect the skin, neuropeptides can create inflammation and an uncomfortable skin sensation, such as numbness, itching, sensitivity or tingling.

However, Dr. Fried explained that stressful situations could cause neuropeptides to be inappropriately released, which can lead to a flare of skin conditions.

"Until recently, it was thought that neuropeptides only stayed in the skin when they were released," said Fried.

"But we now know that they travel to the brain and ultimately increase the reuptake of neurotransmitters - meaning that stress depletes the chemicals that regulate our emotions, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. For example, when psoriasis patients feel stressed about their condition, it can aggravate their symptoms and lead to a further decline in their emotional state, which becomes a vicious cycle," added Fried.

To help patients combat stress-aggravated skin conditions,. Fried recommends that appropriate stress management strategies be used in conjunction with traditional dermatologic therapies. These strategies include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, hypnosis, tai chi, yoga, antidepressants and beta blockers.

Fried added that the skin barrier function, which is the skin's protective outer layer, can be impaired by stress as well. Stress can make the skin more permeable, more sensitive and more reactive, which is why dermatologists recommend the use of over-the-counter moisturizers to enhance the skin barrier function.

If stress compromises the skin's barrier function, more irritants, allergens, and bacteria can penetrate the skin and cause problems. Specifically, stress can make a person's rosacea more red or acne lesions more inflamed and more persistent. It can worsen hives, fever blisters, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.

Philomena, S. (2011), "Link Between Skin and Stress", MedIndia;

 
More articles :

» New Understanding of Skin Hardening Syndromes Found

New details about the underlying mechanisms of skin hardening syndromes, morphea, have been discovered by researchers from (BUSM). Morphea, also known as localized scleroderma, is a disorder characterized by leading to thickening of the dermis,...

» Four More Tips For Coping With Your Scleroderma

Hosted by Jennifer Romero, jenniferforhealing is an excellent blog which seeks to spread awareness and provide support and hope for those who are suffering from Scleroderma and Lupus. In a recent post on Coping with Autoimmune Disease, Jennifer...

» Clinical Manifestations of Heart Disease In Autoimmune Disorders

Dr. Lawrence Phillips is the Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology and Director of Nuclear Cardiology at the . At the recently concluded , Dr. Phillips presented on the clinical manifestations of heart diseases in autoimmune...

» Immune Therapy Developed for Atherosclerosis

is when plaque builds up in the arteries; and it can cause serious problems in the heart. However new strategies are helping patients combat atherosclerosis; and could change the treatment landscape of heart disease, all together.It was in the...

» L-selectin and Skin Damage in Systemic Sclerosis

L-selectin ligands are induced on the endothelium of inflammatory sites. L-selectin expression on neutrophils and monocytes may mediate the primary adhesion of these cells at sites of inflammation by mediating the leukocyte-leukocyte interactions...

» Understanding Arthritis

According to the , arthritis literally means joint inflammation. But the term is often used to refer to any of the more than 100 diseases that affect the joints – where two or more bones meet to allow movement. Currently, there are 46 million...