Skin & Soul

Skin & Soul

Even if the psyche is not the cause of every skin rash: stress and fear can trigger skin disease. Emotional and psychological conflicts, which we do not come to terms with, can make a person ill and cause psychosomatic complaints. Psoriasis, neurodermatitis or urticaria (nettle rash) – several skin complaints and skin problems are made worse by stress or even result from stress. Stress weakens the immune system. The protective mechanisms of the skin are disrupted and the skin becomes more susceptible to chronic or acute disease.

But not all skin problems have mental causes. There are many hereditary illnesses and also those which are triggered by contact with certain substances or pathogens. Their progress is not influenced by the mental state of the sufferer. However, studies show that the proportion of psychological reasons for skin diseases fluctuates between 30 and 60 per cent.

The fact that skin problems, on the other hand, can have a psychological effect has also been known and recognised for a long time. The German Dermatological Society found that severe skin diseases in which patients suffer constant itching or disfiguring rashes reduce the quality of life as much as coronary disease or diabetes.

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