The mind has a very powerful part to play in our health, especially the health of our skin. The connection is so strong between our mind and skin that it even has a name – psychodermatology. This involves viewing the skin in a fundamentally different way that just dermatology, it links what appears on the outside with what is occurring on the inside. Many skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne have been shown to be affected by our neuro-immuno-cutaneous-system (which is basically our brain-immune-skin connection), therefore a holistic combination approach of addressing underlying stress with any skin conditions will likely be much more beneficial than treating the symptoms of skin conditions on their own (Jafferany 2007).
We all usually find that our skin flares up when we are under stress. The brain and the skin are actually derived from the same cells during development in the womb, so the connection between stress and skin is strong. Our skin can become the mirror that displays our stress to the world.
During stressful periods our bodies are designed to release substances such as cortisol & catecholamines. This affects the immune system which results in increased inflammation and production of sebum therefore worsening pimple breakouts & acne. Stress also utilises more vitamins & minerals in our body like B vitamins, zinc & magnesium, which means that there are less nutrients available for things like our hormones & digestive function which also affects our skin health & healing. Plus, we generally don’t eat as healthily when we are experiencing emotional stress (like the block of chocolate that is consumed in one sitting for self-soothing!).
A study at Stanford University showed that students undertaking exams had a higher incidence of acne breakouts during the stressful exam period (Chiu et. al. 2003) and a further study in 2004 confirmed the causative link to be due to the affect the stress response has on inflammation & sebum (Zouboulis & Bohm). Many further studies have confirmed the correlation of emotional stress & acne, and that the severity of acne is increased during periods of emotional stress (Arck 2003; Gupta & Gupta 2003; Yosipovitch 2007).
Sadly, suicide rates are higher in people that have skin conditions. The skin condition on its own can be a stressor which perpetuates the cycle of the skin becoming worse and the emotional symptoms deepening. Treating stress with any skin condition is a must, and the B vitamins & zinc contained in SkinB5’s Acne Control tablets can assist with the stress-induced loss of nutrients.
If you believe stress is a major factor with regards to your skin condition then it is highly recommended to seek professional advice from an MD, psychiatrist, naturopath, herbalist or other health care practitioner to assist in addressing your symptoms with an effective dual approach.
Haley is a passionate Naturopath & nutrition expert, writer, and mum of 2 young children, with years of experience in the industry. She is a known as a real 'nutrition nerd' and follows the latest natural health research. As a Paleo and raw food enthusiast, she coaches people in healthy living, beauty and positive mindset. Haley has personally experienced the benefits of the SkinB5 natural acne treatment system and is happy to offer her guidance to help others regain clear skin. Follow her blog at www.aliveinwonderland.com & link with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/aliveinwonderlandhealth
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