Could your daily life and stress you encounter make you look older than your actual years? In a recent article on www.AAD.org reveals that your emotional well-being may play havoc on your appearance and offers up tips on what you can do to intervene.
Several studies link factors that affect our emotional well-being — such as stress, depression and anxiety — to an increase in skin, hair or nail problems. In the AAD.org online article, dermatologist and clinical psychologist Richard G. Fried, MD, PhD, FAAD, of Yardley, Pa., explains the reciprocal relationship between feelings and appearance.
How does stress manifest?
- Affect your appearance in many ways, but primarily by making the skin more sensitive and more reactive
- Make skin issues worse, such as: psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis or even issues such as fever blisters
- Result in acne lesions that are more inflamed and more persistent
- Cause brittle nails and ridging of the nails, cause hair loss, cause or worsen hives, and cause excessive perspiration
Stress and neglect:
- Beyond direct physiological effects of stress, patients under stress were also found to be more likely to neglect or abuse their skin
- For example, they often lack the energy and motivation to adhere to their skin care regimens
- Patients may also display signs of stress-related behaviors — such as: scratching, pulling or rubbing
- Traditional dermatologic therapies can be used in conjunction with appropriate stress management therapies to successfully treat stress-related dermatologic conditions
- When dermatologists treat both the skin and stress, the skin often clears more quickly
- This can also help decrease a patient’s overall anxiety level
- he patient may start to feel better about how they look and how they feel emotionally
- On a microscopic level, stress reduction can decrease the release of pro-inflammatory stress hormones and chemicals
- The release of neuropeptides a.k.a. stress chemicals released from the nerve endings can be reduced with stress management techniques that often results in skin that looks and functions better
- Intervention(s) can lead to reduced blood vessel over-activity, resulting in less blushing or flushing
- With accurate diagnosis by a dermatologist, effective treatments improve the appearance and function of the skin
- This alone can substantially reduce patients’ stress and improve their skin, hair and nail conditions. However, if stress is clearly interfering with patients’ overall well-being and ability to cope, simultaneous stress management interventions are warranted. In some instances, referral to a mental health professional may be necessary
Treatment: On the surface
Skin rejuvenation procedures have been shown to significantly improve a person’s outward appearance, but studies suggest these types of cosmetic interventions also can have positive effects on how people feel and how they function.
- When people feel more attractive and confident, they tend to perform better in other areas—work, family life, social life, and marriage or personal relationships.
- Under the right circumstances, cosmetic procedures can be a powerful, but it’s important for patients to understand that these procedures are not a panacea.
- In a 2008 study designed to measure the positive ripple effects of botulinum toxin injections on other aspects of patients’ lives, Dr. Fried found that patients treated clearly experienced substantial benefits, including:
- 29 percent reported feeling less anxious.
- 36 percent said they feel more relaxed.
- 49 percent were more optimistic.
- A previous study conducted by Dr. Fried evaluating the clinical and psychological effects of the use of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) found that patients demonstrated significant improvements in facial skin tone and fine wrinkling, and reported satisfaction with their physical appearance and the quality of their interpersonal relationships.
In short, finding ways to manage your stress and address any issue related to it can not only make you feel better, work better, it can help you look better, too. Learn more at www.AAD.org. To learn about the various products (MicroPen, MicroGlide GF, Firma, SkinFinity RF and more) available from Eclipse Aesthetics. We invite you to visit www.EclipseAesthetics.com.