Tue | Jul 17, 2018

Skin Sanity

Published:Monday | February 6, 2017 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

Pimple one, pimple two, then there is a full-blown acne break out and you go to the dermatologist and there is no change. But there is a change in your life - new responsibilities at work, the children are going through that rebellious phase, and insomnia has become your best friend. Do you know all this can be reflected on your skin?

Dr Llorenia Muir-Green, president of the Dermatology Association of Jamaica, does admit that stress can cause physiological changes in the body, and even the skin.

There are a few skin conditions that individuals are already predisposed to that may worsen during times of stress. Some of these, as highlighted by Muir-Green, include acne, alopecia areata (auto-immune hair loss), seborrhoeic eczema, herpes labialis (night fever or cold sores), as well as urticaria (hives).

Many take for granted the connection between the mind and the skin. Muir-Green noted, "There is a strong mind-skin connection and there are many centres worldwide now offering a combined psycho-dermatologic approach to skin disorders."


She explained that there are times when they find a patient with a known skin condition that is not responding to treatment. There was the possibility of stressors hampering the improvement of the skin condition. In these situations, it is important that one find ways to reduce or manage one's stress.

"Now, that does not mean that everyone will respond in the same manner, but managing the psychological issue in addition to the skin issue may see improved results," Muir-Green told Flair.

Thus, it is best to go to a dermatologist and have them check to see what really is the cause for your sporadic skin conditions.