Psychodermatology: The Mind, Brain And Skin Connection.
Posted on 05/10/18
An increasing body of evidence is showing that the way we feel on the inside can affect how we look on the outside. Our emotional wellbeing, stress, depression and anxiety levels can directly influence the overall health of the skin and also be listed as trigger factors for various skin disorders. In fact, there is an entire field of dermatology dedicated to studying the link between the mind and skin: known as psychodermatology.
In modern day society stress has become a part of everyday life and, for many of us, it’s become so normal that we don’t even realise how stressed our body is until it starts to cause illness or disease. Most of us are aware that stress can manifest itself in the form of high blood pressure, headaches or more serious health side effects, but we are often less cognizant of the fact that it can have an impact on our appearance, primarily leaving our complexion sensitive and highly reactive.
The mind body connection shows a persons susceptibility to stress related skin problems depending on how sensitive the individual is to stress related hormones. In some people stress will target their gut, giving them butterflies or a stomach ulcer. In others, it is their skin that manifests stress signals (flushing, itching, oiliness, breakouts). With chronic stress, a person may be more likely to develop a breakout (most defiantly if prone to them). Let’s say you’re sitting in traffic, have job worries and you are sleep deprived – you may get a breakout within a day or two, most often breakouts will happen on the face rather than the body, since these oil glands are most responsive to hormonal changes.
Stress can also increase breakout activity, reduce the skins healing capacity, trigger hyper pigmentation and accelerate the ageing process.
Most people who are emotionally stressed tend to lack the energy and drive to follow a healthy skincare routine. Some may even aggravate their skin further through nervous behavioural traits such as picking, scratching, pulling or rubbing the skin. To compound the situation further, most stressed individuals opt for unhealthy high glycemic index foods, known as ‘comfort food’. These foods increase inflammation, accelerate ageing and have been linked to increased acne formation. On a biological scale, reducing stress levels reduces the release of inflammatory stress hormones and chemicals like neuropeptides (inflammatory chemicals released from the nerve endings), histamine and prostaglandins which improves the way the skin looks and functions, reducing the tendency to redness and reactivity.
It is important to have a holistic multi-targeted approach when it comes to treating skin conditions and disorders. When an Ella Baché Therapist treats both the skin and stress, the skin will often clear more quickly and completely, as the influences of stress are diminished. This, in turn has a positive effect on the clients self esteem which leads to a healthy mind and glowing complexion.
A professional Ella Baché Therapist will perform a thorough skin consultation and skin diagnosis in order to truly understand your skin behaviours and underlying trigger factors. Based on this consultation your therapist will be able to customise a treatment plan, and individualise a homecare and lifestyle routine that will not only target the immediate skin condition but help reduce your stress levels at the same time.
Head to your nearest Ella Bache Salon or David Jones Counter and book in a complimentary skin diagnosis today.