How stress can cause skin problems

A research has shown how the complex link between the skin and the psyche – including the role of stress – affects skin conditions.

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 defence 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.

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Image: Flickr Creativecommons chmeredith

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