The Link Between Skin Conditions and Mental Health

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Have you ever noticed that when you get stressed you start breaking out in hives? Did you ever notice you start scratching the back of your neck when you’re nervous? You may not realize it, but it’s because of a connection between two of your body’s organs: your skin and your brain. There is a link between some skin conditions and your mental health that can be addressed as part of your overall wellness plan. Here are some ways the two may intertwine and impact you physically and emotionally.

Your Emotional Health and Your Skin

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You’ve probably noticed a zit pop up out of nowhere, right when you’re in the middle of a mountain of projects at school or work. The truth is stress can be very triggering to new skin issues. When you feel stressed, your sympathetic nervous system releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into your body. Cortisol causes increased oil production in your skin glands, which can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts.

Dealing with stress starts with inner work, and therapy retreats make for a different way to deal with these emotions. Full and half-day psychotherapy sessions offer a personal direction for people to better address the feelings that are weighing them down in their daily lives. Intensive retreats help victims of significant trauma deal with the uncertainties that are inhibiting them. Personal retreats are designed for an individual to learn how to better address their triggers, with accommodations being afforded in the COVID-19 pandemic to allow these retreats to be conducted virtually.

Psychological Problems & Skin Disorders

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If you’ve noticed that you’ve been dealing with hives when you’re stressed out, it’s important to not let that issues wear on the skin for a long time. If you find yourself Googling “dermatologist in Ankeny,” you may be able to set up a free consultation with a dermatologist who can lay out a game plan for how to treat a condition. Psychophysiologic disorders, such as psoriasis and eczema, are associated with skin problems that aren’t directly linked to the mind but that react to emotional states. These flare-ups can be eased through a “skin intervention” but this runs deeper.

While regular checks with a dermatologist are important, especially for evaluation for skin cancer, you may be dealing with discoloration of the skin, dermatitis, and other conditions because of these psychophysiological disorders. Psychophysiologic disorders may manifest because of a drop in self-esteem, depression, or social phobia. These secondary disorders are best addressed with healthier skin regimens. However, there is a need to overlap dermatology with psychology to address these situations with some patients needing psychedelics through prescription medication to handle these situations.

Delusional Parasitosis

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One of the more extreme conditions that shows a link between mental health and dermatological health is delusional parasitosis. Delusional parasitosis stems from patients who claim to be parasitized by bugs, worms, and other creatures. This delusion makes it difficult to convince a patient that the infestation is not real. Patients may turn to medical dermatology to deal with the presence of mites, but there is a deeper-rooted problem beyond cosmetic procedures.

This condition can start with feelings of itchiness and burning, but culminate in more severe symptoms like self-mutilation if not properly addressed. A doctor or psychiatrist may prescribe antipsychotic medications to better address the underlying mental health condition. Individual therapy or individual retreats can provide some insight into how to better address this issue if a patient doesn’t want to opt for prescription medications. Treatment may take time, especially trying to break down walls to convince patients of the underlying condition. However, there is hope.

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