“If you have a stressful job, or you are always on time, or you travel a lot, you have learned to deal with stress. However, your body will always talk to you and your skin will always tell you.” says Dr. St Surin-Lord, who practices integrated dermatology. He often has patients who say that they “do not feel anxious”, but as soon as he digs a little deeper, he learns that their work is extremely demanding, they do not sleep well and it is difficult to keep up with their children’s programs. “I’m going to say, ‘So you’re under pressure. You’ve learned to deal with it and to deal with it, but the fact that your seborrheic dermatitis is so bad that you have a blizzard on your shoulders with flakes tells me you’re stressed,” he says.
Stress triggers a surge of hormones (ie, adrenaline and cortisol), which trigger inflammation in the body. So, if you are already experiencing inflammatory conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, stress can cause them to flare up. You may also notice issues that you do not normally experience, such as urticaria.
If you experience these problems, the treatment is twofold. First, you need to consult your doctor to deal with what is happening to your skin. “If you have someone whose skin breaks out, their eczema worsens or their psoriasis worsens due to stress, you will need some medication, such as topical creams or steroid lotions,” says Dr. St. Surin-Lord. . “If you find yourself having urticaria every other day or every day, you may need to take an antihistamine … And I recommend you visit an allergist to see how it will calm you down as well.”
In addition to treating the symptoms, you need to get to the heart of the matter and manage your stress. “If this stressor is still there, you remove it [medication] “After two weeks, you’ll start over again,” says Dr. St Surin-Lord.
He suggests looking for activities — such as walking and meditation — that will help bring you joy. In extreme cases, it has even required patients to fill out family and medical leave forms so they can take a few weeks off work to treat their skin. “And let me tell you – after two weeks of leave, their skin was clean,” he says.
If your skin is getting stronger, take a step back and evaluate your stressors. Stress management is very different from just learning to deal with it, and you have to take the time to figure it out first to properly heal the heavy skin.
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