New Skin for a New Year

By Dr Angela Richardson - Monday, 12 January 2015

Dr Angela Richardson

How we feel affects how we look, and there are now many studies which have linked stress, anxiety and depression to some skin, nail and hair problems. Our skin is the largest organ of our body, however, it often gets less attention than it deserves considering all the hard work it does for us.

Stress can manifest by making the skin more sensitive and reactive leading to acne, exacerbation of conditions such as psoriasis and rosacea, result in increased skin oiliness, brittle nails and ridging of nails, cause hair loss as well as excessive perspiration. Stress is also a known trigger and aggravating factor in psoriais, seborrhoeic dermatitis and can impair the barrier function of the skin. This makes it more susceptible to reactions, irritants, allergens and infections.

When Doctors treat both skin and stress, the skin often clears more quickly as the influences of stress are reduced. On a microscopic level, stress reduction can decrease the level of pro-inflammatory stress-hormones (eg. cortisol) and chemicals which in turn result in skin that looks and functions better. As an example, blood vessel activity can be reduced resulting in less blushing or flushing and an improvement in rosacea.

Skin rejuvenation procedures have been shown to significantly improve skin’s appearance, and studies have also suggested that cosmetic interventions can have positive effects on how people feel. When we feel more attractive and confident in our appearance, we tend to perform better in other aspects of our lives.

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