These days, it’s widely accepted that physical and mental health are intrinsically connected, and the link between stress and skin issues is particularly evident. Stress not only has a detrimental effect on our skin, but issues with our skin can and do cause us stress and mental anxiety.
According to the British Skin Foundation, 90% of dermatologists agree that not enough importance is placed on the psychological effects of skin conditions. ‘Whilst dermatology is making great advances in treating the medical aspects of skin disease, perhaps not enough is being done to address the accompanying psychological effects,’ says practitioner clinic psychologist Dr Andrew Thompson.
Psychodermatology is a therapy that treats both the skin and psyche at once. ‘I often say to my patients that stress causes skin disease and skin disease causes stress, so I treat the mind and skin together,’ says consultant dermatologist Dr Alia Ahmed, who is part of the psychodermatology team at The Royal London Hospital. ‘Not only do I see benefits in my patients’ skin conditions, but I also hear from them that they are feeling better in their state of mind,’ she adds.
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