Written By Sarah Kaminski / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
It’s well-known that there is an intricate link between the human mind and the body. More specifically, we’re now also aware of the connection between our mind and our largest organ. But only recently has an entire field dedicated to this connection become part of the mainstream.
Psychodermatology is the study of the ways mental health is connected to skin health and vice versa. It explores the intricate ways in which our appearance and general skin health impact our mood - and so much more. With psychodermatology, we can know more about how a bad mood can result in a bad skin day.
That’s certainly something that affects us all, so read on to learn more.
How Skin Conditions Impact Our Mental Health
Historically, societies always admired beautiful people. However, with the rise of social media, we’ve taken the glorification of physical beauty to an entirely new level. As a result, conditions like body dysmorphia are on the rise.
No matter how hard we try not to judge a book by its cover, we’re all often guilty of it. We are also often prone to comparison. And perhaps most dangerous of all, we often forget to factor in the Instagram filter when admiring someone’s perfect skin.
Images of people with angelic skin are constantly served to us by mainstream and social media alike. Even individuals whose skin would be considered very healthy and blemish-free tend to feel inadequate when looking at someone who they deem to be perfect.
However, when the person looking at all of these perfect images has a skin condition – whether it’s acne, scarring, sun spots, or enlarged pores – their mental health tends to suffer too.
Let’s just admit first that pretty much everyone has bad skin days. These can sometimes turn into weeks, months, or even years. Having imperfect skin is actually perfectly normal.
But through comparison, social stigmatization, and a heightened feeling of insecurity, skin conditions can lead to all kinds of mental health issues. These issues range from generalized to social anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, and others.
This is where psychodermatology comes in. It aims to dismantle the mental trauma of skin conditions and restore a more realistic worldview to patients.
How Mental Health Impacts Our Skin
However, the connection works both ways, as mental health has a significant impact on skin appearance and general health.
We don’t even need to provide any scientific research to back that statement up: you already have plenty of empirical evidence from your own experience. You know that stress can lead to breakouts, that sleepless nights lead to dark circles, that your anxious thoughts can show up on your skin.
Those who suffer from any kind of mental illness and also have a noticeable skin condition often talk about flare-ups and their connection to their state of mind. For instance, an eczema outbreak can be caused by heightened stress, and extra spots can sprout up when you are going through a breakup or are under a lot of stress at work.
Mental health issues need to be treated by a professional, but if they work together with a psychodermatologist, we can better understand the intricate connection between the way we look and how we feel. Consequently, we can take the right steps to improve both.
Remedies for the Mind and Skin
To take care of both the mind and skin, we need to take certain steps and incorporate them into our daily routine. Luckily, what works for one will work for the other. You’ll notice a significant change even when you work on just one aspect of this two-way street.
First, start by rethinking what you put in your body. Replace sodas with water, and throw some citrus fruits in if you can’t suffer the taste of plain water all that much. You might also want to switch to a diet that has specific skin benefits. What you eat can literally change the way you look.
Meditation, journaling, yoga, or any other form of stress relief is also a great way to relax your mind and improve the condition of your skin. And remember, the less stressed you feel, the more your body will be able to focus on repairing any damage to your skin.
Finally, you can’t forget about using the right products for your skin. While your body is a miracle worker in its own right, you do need to help it out and provide the right help. Talk to your (psycho) dermatologist and identify the best ingredients that can help with the skin condition you are combating.
Never forget that beauty is certainly not only skin deep, and that the more you worry about a blemish or a scar, the larger it will loom over your life. Change what you can and make decisions that are beneficial for your skin and mind. Learn how to embrace your unique self and your skin, all imperfections included.
Looking for 100% chemical-free, all-natural nourishing face and body oils? Check out Earth & Elm Nourishing Face Oil and Earth & Elm Nourishing Body Oil. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral care, skincare, body care and foot care. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Sarah Kaminski is a life enjoyer, positivity seeker, and a curiosity enthusiast. She is passionate about an eco-friendly lifestyle and adores her cats. She is an avid reader who loves to travel when time allows.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.
Photo by Lucija Ros on Unsplash