Your Skin Is a Reflection of Your Mental State
Have you ever heard of the term psychodermatology? Apparently this is a relatively new field of study that combines psychiatry and dermatology.
And in this field, it’s all about the mind over skin – your thoughts and perceptions contribute to how your skin looks like on the outside. This is because your mind greatly influences your complexion.
Dr. Josie Howard, MD, an award-winning psychodermatologist with impressive credentials who trained in both dermatology and psychiatry backs this up. “Believe it or not, this connection actually formed before you were born. The mind and skin are intimately connected from the very first weeks after the sperm and egg come together.”
After the merging of the sperm and egg, it splits into three primary layers: the ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm and one of them becomes the mind and the skin. So, your skin conditions and how you feel about yourself are directly linked with how you think.
According to Howard, it is of utmost importance that you learn how to properly handle your emotions as this can trigger certain skin conditions.
Listed below are the factors on how your mind affects your skin’s condition and how to deal with the stresses in life.
Your Skin Reflects What’s on Your Mind
The Biological Aspect
Your mind and your skin naturally complement each other.
She said, “This ranges from pro-inflammatory stress hormones to chemicals (like neuropeptides) that are released by the nervous system in response to stress, which directly affects your skin’s health.”
We’re pretty sure all of us have experienced the effects of stress in one form or another: hair fall, appearance of fine lines, dark circles under your eyes, and the worst, breakouts, the cycle goes on and on.
There are other lifestyle factors that can affect your skin’s vitality as well such as lack of sleep, anxiety, excessive drinking of booze and the like.
The best you can do is to identify and manage the cause. So if you find that your job creates stress and leads you to breakout then find ways to manage that stress.
Take a break, immerse yourself in meditation, yoga or it could be as easy as learning how to manage your time. Get a planner and pen down your schedule and include your stress-minimizing strategies.
How You See Yourself
Have you ever ditched a trip to the beach just because you’re dealing with hormonal acne? You are definitely not alone.
When a huge zit appears on your nose or if you get a massive breakout on your cheeks, you’ll inevitably feel bad about yourself and your self-confidence will take a nosedive.
This can lead to a decrease in confidence and not to mention social life.
Let’s be honest, when you struggle with a breakout you’d much rather stay at home than have people point out your flaws.
Your skin condition can change how you see yourself. It is important you understand that breakouts are temporary.
By doing this, you are already effectively dealing with your emotions. The point here is for you to realize that you are more than your skin dilemmas.
You have power over them and they do not define who you are as a person. Put this to heart and you can conquer all your complexion woes.
Your Skin Care Routine
How you feel about your appearance can lead to unhealthy behaviour when it comes to taking care of your skin – especially when you struggle with low self-esteem. Dr. Howard states, “When people are anxious or unhappy about their skin, it can affect their actions in terms of how they care for it.”
She also confirmed that having anxiety can lead to over-treating or worsening the condition. While depression may also lead to under-treating skin conditions that need attention.
This explains why some people develop a habit of popping pimples whenever they feel anxious or conscious about how they look. But this never helped their condition – it actually only made it worse.
Dr. Howard advises her patients to take a topical treatment to immediately treat a budding skin problem. “I always tell my patients to take a topical treatment with them so they can use it the first moment they feel something coming on.”
By assuring yourself that you are more than your skin problems, you can easily surpass all the emotional weight that comes with it. Another effective solution is to manage your stress and keep it in check.
But the key to a healthy and glowing skin is to have a positive outlook in life. No matter what life throws at you – may it be hormonal acne or deadlines piling up, look at it as an opportunity for growth.
Change how you look at certain situations and learn to embrace drawbacks because the more you wallow in negativity the more it will affect your skin’s condition.
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