The mind and the skin are closely related. Diseases such as eczema, vitiligo, acne or psoriasis greatly alter the quality of life of those who suffer from them. Social, personal and work relationships are more difficult for these patients. The dermatology specialist is only concerned with the disease itself and its cutaneous symptoms, and loses the possibility of approaching the sufferer as a whole. Psychodermatology responds to the problems as a whole, understanding the connections that all aspects of the patient’s life have an impact on the disease. There may be higher levels of anxiety and depression and this hinders the treatment and the good evolution of the lesions.
What day-to-day factors can influence the appearance of psychodermatological problems?
On the other hand, the stress in which we live immersed produces the appearance or worsens many skin diseases. Psychodermatology involves listening to the patient to detect these problems and trying to ensure that the treatment is not only aimed at curing the pathology itself, but also tries to help the patient to recognize which factors in his life influence his pathology in order to look for possible triggers in the different aspects of daily life. Often, the simple fact of recognizing the influence that the nervous system has on the disease already produces a certain relaxation and this leads to greater acceptance and better compliance with the treatments. Sometimes the support of psychologists or psychiatrists is necessary. However, at other times it is enough to find a gym, a walk or a daily relaxation method that helps to achieve greater personal stability.
When the dermatology specialist is open to conversation, tries to be empathetic and strives to understand and make the patient understand the triggers, it helps the patient a lot.
On the other hand, some mental illnesses manifest themselves on the skin with itching, wounds or a tendency to scratch or wash exaggeratedly. This produces skin lesions that can be difficult for the dermatologist and the patient to recognize. These problems are also studied in psychodermatology.
What is most important is that both doctor and patient are able to recognize the close mind-skin relationship, have an open conversation and try to address skin diseases in the framework of the living environment.