Question for the Expert: How important is stress in acne and other skin diseases?

Asked by Editor

Answer:

Stress frequently worsens many types of skin disease including acne, eczema, psoriasis and itching from a variety of different causes.  It is thought to provoke these diseases by releasing cortisol at the time of the acute stress.  As the stress subsides, the levels of cortisol drop rapidly and this can produce what is known medically as post steroid rebound.  Yet another reason to try to develop your own stress-busting programme, which could include meditation, guided imagery, exercise, yoga or Pilates.

Dr Nick Lowe MD, FRCP, FACP

Written by: Dr Nick Lowe MD, FRCP, FACP, Consultant Dermatologist