Skin sentiments

Bottled up emotions can cause skin eruptions and disorders. So, vent emotions not just for your body, but also for a healthy skin

It is the skin that visibly responds to psychic influences and exhibits it spontaneously. Bottled up emotions always try hard to find a vent and as long as they are inside, they will attempt to make their way out of our body by giving rise to various symptoms. We may not realise, but majority of our problems stem from unresolved emotional experiences. There exists a physical connection between emotions and the skin and hence the constant struggle to be better than the best may only aggravate the skin problems.

The cause

Problems that result due to emotional imbalance are:

Pruritis or itching

Itching in severe form, causes lot of discomfort. It also leads to loss of sleep, depression, and anxiety. Frustration pile up is usually noticed with unavoidable and uncontrollable forms of itching.

Acne or psoriasis

Youngsters who often complain about acne and pimple problems are mostly unaware of one of the contributing factors to it. Stress-induced factors such as anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, depression and a variety of other internalised emotions trigger chemical reactions inside the body that cause acne flare-ups.


Severe itching and scratching is a symptom of neurodermatitis. It is a skin condition that can cause the affected skin to become thick and leathery in texture [elephant-like]. Nervous tension or any stress on the nerve cells aggravates this form of itching.

Dermatitis artefacta

It refers to lesions of the skin incurred in the process of physical scratching. People with dermatitis artefacta usually have an underlying psychological problem and can be caused by stress and drugs.

Atopic dermatitis

It is the long-lasting, itchy inflammation of the upper layers of the skin that often develops in people reporting problems of hay fever or asthma. Many conditions like changes in temperature, bacterial skin infections including emotional stress can make atopic dermatitis worse.

The solution

Taking the key feelings out of your skin and into your mind, heart, and actions is the essence of treatment for most people. Significant recommendations are:

  • Relaxation
  • Biofeedback
  • Self-hypnosis or psychotherapy
  • Medical examination by a qualified consultant. This may include visual examination of skin, blood test or skin biopsy
  • Psychodermatology, an emerging medical practice, aims at linking dermatology with psychiatry in hope of finding the best solution for these mind-skin troubles.
D M Mahajan
Dr D M Mahajan is senior consultant of dermatology at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi. He is also the former president of Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venerologists and Leprologists.


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