Whether it’s acne, hives or an eczema flare, we know that stress and anxiety can cause a visible reaction in our skin. Doctors understand a link exists between emotional distress and inflammatory responses in skin diseases. The challenge has been figuring out how to prove it scientifically, said Dr. Richard D. Granstein, chairman of the department of dermatology at Cornell University in New York.
During a session called “The Skin and the Mind” at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) in March 2017, Granstein spoke about the emerging science of stress in dermatology.
He revealed a number of pathways that help explain the link between stress and skin responses. In fact, one of those pathways, which involves neuropeptides, could steer the direction of future treatments and help the medical community better understand the relationship between stress and inflammatory skin diseases.
“I certainly believe that the time has come to use stress alleviation techniques, at least for selected patients, and this should certainly be part of our armamentarium in the clinic,” Granstein said.
Click here to watch Granstein’s video interview with Dermatology News and then try these…
10 techniques to tackle stress at home
- Stop what you’re doing and take some slow, deep breaths.
- Get control over fleeting thoughts through mindful meditation.
- Perform some light, graceful exercises such as yoga, tai chi or ballet.
- Write down any negative thoughts and feelings in your journal and let it go.
- Occupy your hands (and mind) with crafts like knitting, coloring or scrap-booking.
- Listen to a compilation of soothing sounds such a rain drops, ocean waves, classical music or the tranquil voices of NPR hosts.
- Get outside. Even a simple walk around the neighborhood can be highly therapeutic.
- Take a nice, long, relaxing soak in the tub and personalize your bathing experience with Epsom salts, essential oils, etc.
- Look at videos or memes of babies, animals or better yet, baby animals.
- Practice self-care. This could include partaking in one or all of the above activities. There’s only one you, so take care of yourself!