Psychodermatology And You
Does your recurring breakout of acne or eczema mean you need an hour on your shrink’s couch? According to the experts, it very well could. It is a well-known fact that emotional, physical and environmental stressors affect your skin, now you can find out just how far that reality goes.
Psychodermatology is an emerging field that explores the ever-powerful connection between the mind and the body by fusing the theories of psychiatry and dermatology. While psychodermatologists assist clients who are suffering from skin conditions by prescribing traditional dermatological medicines such as antibiotics and topical medications; the also treat the client’s emotional and mental well-being with non-traditional methods. If you seek the help of a psychodermatologist for a case of chronic hives, don’t be surprised to find yourself in a relaxation room or undergoing psychotherapy. Self-hypnosis and biofeedback are also practices of treatment common to this new and expanding field.
School, it is estimated that between 30 to 60 percent of people who seek treatment for skin conditions are also dealing with emotional issues. These issues, if deep-seeded and causing serious stress can prevent even the most powerful medications from working effectively. Sever psoriasis suffers have found that biofeedback and relaxation and/or meditation tapes have increased the results of traditional and non-traditional treatments such UV light therapy. Hive and vitiligo (de-pigmented skin) sufferers are finding that these “soul treatments” such as group therapy and psychological counseling are as helpful as medications designed specifically to treat their symptoms. And the skin isn’t the only thing psychodermatologists are addressing. Hair loss is also increasingly linked to emotional stressors in everything from marital problems to a rise and fall in the stock market. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published a study that states 57 percent of patients suffering from hair loss has total or partial hair regrowth after undergoing hypnosis. A similar series of studies conducted at
University found that half their patients lost their warts after hypnosis treatments.
Patients with these conditions find that they have spent too much time and money going from dermatologist to allergist to specialist without seeing significant results. Psychodermatologists offer patients the ability to analyze the stressors that trigger the symptoms and prohibit medications from improving their conditions. Psychodermatology also provides support to patients who are frustrated and frightened by the lack of success traditional treatments have provided. So the next time you find yourself with an itchy rash under your ring finger, think back to any arguments or uncertainty you may have experienced in your relationship. Are your breakouts no longer responding to the topical medication you’ve always used? Consider your schedule, your relationship with your boss or co-workers or how much sleep you’ve had in the past few weeks. If you find that your skin or scalp condition is linked to stressors in your life, you may benefit from a visit to your local psychodermatologist.
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