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Your Skin's Emotional Life

Your Skin's Emotional Life

Ever have a bad case of hives, eczema, acne or psoriasis? Ever notice how a flare-up can coincide with a seriously stressful time in your ife? Psychodermatology, an emerging medical practice, is joining the practice of dermatology and psychiatry in hopes of finding the best solution for these mind-skin troubles.

“An estimated 30 to 60 percent of people who come to a doctor for help with skin problems also have emotional issues that are churning as well,” says Dr. Ted Grossbart, an assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of "Skin Deep: A New Mind/Body Program for Healthy Skin."

“These emotional stressors can keep the best skin medicine in the world from working," he says. "You’ve got to address what’s going on in the heart as well as on the skin.”

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And what's really interesting is how tools like relaxation, biofeedback, self-hypnosis or psychotherapy are achieving radical results.

In August 2006, the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published a study that found 57 percent of patients suffering from alopecia (or hair loss) had total or partial hair regrowth after undergoing hypnosis. And a series of small studies conducted at Carleton University in Canada found half of patients lost their warts after undergoing hypnosis.

If you're interested or if you've been dealing with ongoing skin problems, you can read the entire article here.

Please pass along any stories you have about life problems becoming skin problems!


Join The Conversation
melda melda 10 years
thanks I needed it
southern_gal southern_gal 10 years
I know stress has a lot to do with my occasional acne breakouts but am I wrong to think it is unavoidable?
designergirl designergirl 10 years
Well, you would assume that it you were about it get your period, hormones would cause acne. Maybe there is a link, but I always thought that when I was stressed out, I ate a bunch of crap or something, and that's why I got a breakout.
kendalheart kendalheart 10 years
I have always thought stress had something to do with my eczama because it does get worse when i am stressed. I think this is a great way to get more massages and facials!
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
This info makes sense, I often break out before my period and it never fails that when a big event is coming up I'll get a big zit that I have to desperately try to get rid of. Luckily my boyfriend is a graphic designer, so if I have a pimple showing in a picture I just say "Baby, airbrush that out PLEASE!"
Blessed2x Blessed2x 10 years
Thank you for posting the article-I did not have any problems with my skin until I turned 30-thats when I got rosecea. My face flares up with papules right before my menstrual cycle and otherwise it goes from a light pink to a reddish tone. If I get embarrassed or upset it turns bright red. I tone it down with makeup but even then it is noticeable. I have learned to just accept it...
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