The Psychological Effects of Skin Disease

August 14, 2018

The Psychological Effects of Skin Disease

For those who suffer with eczema, psoriasis, acne or any form of dermatitis, the psychological impacts can be much worse than the skin problem itself.  Being the largest body organ, and an external one for all to see, skin conditions take a toll not only on one’s health, but also on one’s self-esteem.  They frequently generate significant levels of anxiety, impair one’s ability to foster relationships and impact mental health. 

Humans are very visually focused, and our society tends to make broad assessments of people based on their appearance.  As a result, those who suffer from obvious skin conditions occasionally find themselves: retreating from social interactions; struggling for employment opportunities; suffering from diminished sense of self-worth; and deep depression.  Even though a person may only suffer from skin problems during one segment of their life, or the skin condition might clear up with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs or topical medications, the psychological impact can be permanent. 

For many people, their own perception of the way they appear is far worse than the way others see them.  This heightened negative self-image can create a downward emotional spiral that becomes hypnotic in terms of the way a person interprets themselves and their ability to be socially acceptabile.  Some people ultimately feel that they are un-loveable or see themselves as social outcasts.

The depth and breadth of negative emotional effects associated with skin diseases has given rise to a multidisciplinary field of medicine called Psychodermatology.  Professionals in this field bring skills in dermatology, psychology and psychiatry together under one roof to offer a more holistic approach to the physical and mental distress caused by skin diseases.  Psychodermatologists recognize that a person’s psychological mind set, can even impact the way their body responds to medical treatments.  While treating the dermatological condition, a psychodermatologist will also work with patients to reduce anxiety and depression and improve overall quality of life.  Treatments can include hypnotherapy which has been shown to decrease anxiety, reduce pain, control inflammation and also help people control their impulse to scratch their affected skin.  Additional techniques include relaxation and meditation which have also been seen to have positive effects on skin problems.   Although the direct correlations are not as well understood, it’s felt that meditation generates improved interactions between the brain and the immune system which improves then improves inflammatory issues in the skin.

Small-molecule, marine collagen also works as an effective anti-inflammatory.  This type of collagen reduces the release of molecules that cause inflammation in the body; in other words, reduces the expression of inflammatory cytokines.  Reducing inflammatory cytokines will bring down inflammation in the body and specifically in the skin.  Marine collagen is quickly becoming a very popular method for controlling inflammatory skin conditions because it’s natural and has none of the side effects of chemical medications.  DeepMarine’s extra-strength collagen is an ultra-pure, highly effective anti-inflammatory and helps many people reduce and resolve troubling skin conditions.

While this is a complicated field, many advancements have been made in terms of assisting people with the physiological and psychosocial effects of skin diseases.  Enduring feelings of despair and distress related to skin problems should be treated carefully and it’s important to seek medical consultation.

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