Stress and its Effect on Nutrition

Stress and Nutrition 

In modern times, Stress has become our number one health enemy. Stress has become ubiquitous, and its effects often remain hidden, manifesting only in subtle symptoms at first. But, make no mistake; it can lead to enormous health issues down the line. 

Previously I discussed ways to help manage stress by improving exercise and more passive techniques such as breathing exercises. In this blog, I’d like to talk about stress and nutrition – its effects on nutrition and how we can utilize good nutrition to counteract stress and enable our bodies to better cope with the effects of it. 

Stress, anxiety, worry and overwork can lead to unhealthy lifestyle habits, which causes more stress, leading to a very harmful cycle.  Below is a list of common bad habits people sometimes indulge in when overwhelmed, tired and worried. 

Stress-Induced Habits 

  • Drinking Too Much Coffee: Usually increased stress means longer hours and pressure at work, so you may find yourself drinking more cups of coffee through the day to keep yourself going. 
  • Eating the Wrong Foods: Stress results in cravings for foods high in fat, sugar, and salt. This occurs due partially to increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. This may result in increased consumption of junk foods, sweets, and unhealthy snacks. 
  • Skipping Meals: Due to the time constraints which often come with periods of higher stress, eating a healthy meal tends to drop down on our list of priorities, and you might find yourself skipping breakfast or not eating lunch because there’s just too much on your to-do list. 
  • Mindless Munching: Emotional eating may also increase when stress is high, we eat when we are not hungry but because it feels comforting or chasing the “sugar high” 
  • Forgetting Water: as with skipping meals, drinking good amounts of water tends to decrease in priority, which may lead to dehydration. This is made even worse when the consumption of soda drinks, alcohol and coffee rises during times of stress. 
  • Fast Food: Because of the convenience of quick meals, stressed people often increase their consumption of fast foods, laden with anti-nutrients which negatively affect your health. 

The Impact of the wrong foods during stress 

  • Blood Sugar Imbalances: When your food demands are not met or when foods without needed nutrients are consumed, blood sugar fluctuations may result. In the short term, these fluctuations may lead to mood swings, fatigue, poor concentration and other negative consequences which will exacerbate stress. In the long term, greater health problems such as hyperglycemia and even diabetes may be the result. 
  • Side Effects of caffeine: Caffeine in excess can lead to poor concentration, anxiety, palpitations, lower levels of productivity, and problems with sleep. An even higher level of the stress hormone cortisol is often the outcome. 
  • Poor Health Outcomes: Chronic high stress and its effects on nutrition may have significant long term effects such as decreased immunity, worsening of an existing health issue or even the start of a new one, as is often seen in psoriasis and other skin conditions. 

Healthy choices during periods of stress 

In addition to having stress reduction techniques in place and ensuring enough quality sleep, it is vital to follow a healthy eating programme during times of stress. In this way, we can ensure that our bodies have a good supply of the nutrients it needs to counteract stress, and the body’s increased demands for nutrition is met. 

A fresh, clean diet is important – lots of fresh vegetables (not overcooked), fresh fruit, ample amounts of fresh water, good quality proteins, and healthy fats are essential. Limit anti-nutrients, such as refined carbohydrates & excessive sugar consumption, excessive caffeine intake, soda drinks, alcohol, processed and smoked foods and so on. 

The practitioners at Psoriasis Eczema Clinic are well-versed in helping you to manage the triggers of your skin condition. 

Phillip Bayer, Senior Practitioner 

2016 Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials

The following Clinical trials were conducted by Prof. Michael Tirant and associated Professors of Dermatology in 2016. The Clinical trials examined the efficacy and safety of the Dr Michaels brand. All clinical trials were conducted in Australia and overseas, on skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, ichthyosis etc.

JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL REGULATORS & HOMEOSTATIC AGENTS

Volume 30, No. 2 (Supplement 3), April – June, 2016 CONTENTS 1 9 15 21 29 35 43 49 55 65 73 77 83 89 95 103 109 115 121 129

Abstract Vol 30_No 2_1-7 –  A multi-centred open trial of “Dr Michaels®” (also branded as Soratinex®) topical product family in psoriasis,  U. Wollina, J. Hercogova, M. Fioranelli, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, M. Tirant, F. Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_9-14 –  A European prospective, randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study on the efficacy and safety of Dr Michaels® (also branded as Soratinex®) product family for stable chronic plaque psoriasis, K. França, J. Hercogova, M. Fioranelli, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U. Wollina, M. Tirant, F. Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_15-20 – A clinical examination of the efficacy of preparation of Dr Michaels® (also branded as Soratinex®) products in the treatment of psoriasis, J. Hercogova, M. Fioranelli, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U. Wollina, M. Tirant, F. Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_21-28 – Nail psoriasis in an adult successfully treated with a series of herbal skin care products family – a case report, M. Tirant, J. Hercogova, M. Fioranelli, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U. Wollina, F. Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_29-34 – Clinical evaluation of the effectiveness of “Dr Michaels®” (also branded as Soratinex®) products in the topical treatment of patients with plaque psoriasis, M. Fioranelli, J. Hercogova, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A.Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U. Wollina, M Tirant, F. Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_35-42 – Successful treatment of a chronic eczema in a 48-year-old female with Dr Michaels® (Eczitinex® and Itchinex®) product family. a case report, M. Tirant, P. Anderson, P. Bayer, J. Hercogov?, M. Fioranelli, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U. Wollina, F. Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_43-47 –  Dr Michaels® (Soratinex®) product for the topical treatment of psoriasis: a Hungarian/Czech and Slovak study, J. Hercogova, M. Fioranelli, S.Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U. Wollina, M Tirant, F.Novotny, M.G.Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_49-54 –  Successful treatment of mild to moderate acne vulgaris with Dr Michaels® (also branded as Zitinex®) topical products family: a clinical trial, U. Wollina, M. Tirant, P. Bayer, M. Coburn, M. Smith, B. Donnelly, T. Kennedy, J. Gaibor, M. Arora, L. Clews, S. Walsley, J. Hercogov?, M. Fioranelli, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, F.Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_55-63 – Investigation of the efficacy and tolerability of Dr Michaels® (also branded as Eczitinex® and Itchinex) topical products in the treatment of atopic dermatitis in children, K. França, J. Hercogova, M. Fioranelli, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U. Wollina, M. Tirant, P. Bayer, M. Coburn, M. Smith, B. Donnelly, T. Kennedy, J. Gaibor, M. Arora, L. Clews, F. Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_65-72 – Treatment of ichthyosis lamellaris using a series of herbal skin care products family, M. Tirant, P. Bayer, J. Hercogova, M. Fioranelli, S.Gianfaldoni, A.A.Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U. Wollina, F. Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_73-75 – Investigation of the efficacy of Dr Michaels® (Soratinex®) family in maintaining a symptom-free state for patients with psoriasis in remission. A retrospective, comparative study, J. Hercogova, M. Fioranelli, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U. Wollina, M. Tirant, F. Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_77-81 – Dr Michaels® product family (also branded as Soratinex®) versus methylprednisolone aceponate – a comparative study of the effectiveness for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, J. Hercogova, M. Fioranelli, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U. Wollina, M Tirant, F.Novotny, M.G.Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França, and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_83-87 – Successful treatment of alopecia areata with Dr. Michaels® product family, U. Wollina, J. Hercogova, M. Fioranelli, S.Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, M. Tirant, F.Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_89-93 – Successful treatment of recalcitrant candidal intertrigo with Dr Michaels® (Fungatinex®) product family, J. Hercogova, M. Tirant, P. Bayer, M. Coburn, B. Donnelly, T. Kennedy, J. Gaibor, M. Arora, L. Clews, M. Fioranelli, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U.Wollina, F. Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_95-102 – Successful treatment of facial systemic lupus erythematosus lesions with Dr Michaels® (Soratinex®) product family. A case report, M. Tirant, P. Bayer, J. Hercogova, M. Fioranelli, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U. Wollina, F. Novotny, M.G.Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_103-108 –  Scalp Psoriasis: A Promising Natural Treatment, U. Wollina, J. Hercogova,  M. Fioranelli, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, M. Tirant, F. Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_109-113 – An innovative, promising topical treatment for psoriasis: a Romanian clinical study, S. Gianfaldoni, J. Hercogova, M. Fioranelli, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U.Wollina, M. Tirant, F. Novotny, M.G. Roccia, G.K. Maximov, K. França and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_115-119 – Efficacy and safety of Dr Michaels® (Soratinex®) product family for the topical treatment of psoriasis: a monitored status study,  K. França, F. Novotny, J. Hercogova, M. Fioranelli, S.Gianfaldoni, A.A. Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U. Wollina, M. Tirant, M.G. Roccia and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_121-127 –  Quality of life aspects of patients with psoriasis using a series of herbal products,  K. França, M. Tirant, J. Hercogova, F. Novotny, M. Fioranelli, S. Gianfaldoni, A.A.Chokoeva, G. Tchernev, U.Wollina, M.G. Roccia and T. Lotti.
Abstract Vol 30_No 2_129-131 –  Short Communication: a vegetable oil extract restores redox status in fibroblasts from psoriatic patients, V. Barygina, M. Becatti, A. Mannucci, N. Taddei, M. Tirant, J. Hercogova, K. França, M. Fioranelli, M.G. Roccia, G. Tchernev, U. Wollina, T. Lotti and C. Fiorillo.

Austrian Trial

ABSTRACT – that appeared in the publication of the: JEADV (Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology) – Volume 18. Number 6. November 2004. P061 – Prospective, randomized controlled double-blind study on the efficacy and safety of a series of herbal skin-care products for stable chronic plaque psoriasis.
The Results Of Attestation Study Of Effectiveness Dr. Michaels Psoriasis Products (undertaken during the years 2005-2008)
Conducted by Prof. MUDr. Jana Hercogová, CSc.
Summary results of tests on 203 patients. Very good results were achieved with chronic psoriasis, whereas in acute stages the good results were not often delivered.

The following specialists participated in this study:

Monday

09:00 – 05:00

Tuesday

 

 09:00 – 05:00

Wednesday 

09:00 – 05:00

Thursday

09:00 – 05:00

Friday

09:00 – 05:00

Saturday-Sunday

Off

Copyrights © 2019 Psoriais Eczema Clinic.  All Rights Reserved.

2019 Clinical Trials

2019 Clinical Trials

Vietnamese Dermatology

Thuong Nguyen Van

National Hospital of Dermatology and Venereology, Hanoi, Vietnam; Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi, Vietnam

Michael Tirant

University of Rome G. Marconi, Rome, Italia; Psoriasis Eczema Clinic, Melbourne, Australia

Phuong Pham Thi Minh

National Hospital of Dermatology and Venereology, Hanoi, Vietnam

Francesca Satolli

Unit of Dermatology, University of Parma, Parma, Italy

Claudio Feliciani

Unit of Dermatology, University of Parma, Parma, Italy

Aleksandra Vojvodic

Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Military Medical Academy of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Torello Lotti

University of Rome G. Marconi, Rome, Italia

Keywords: Vietnamese dermatology, World Health Academy of Dermatology, Vitiligo Research Foundation, Military Medical Academy of Belgrade Serbia, University of Parma, Italy, University of Rome Guglielmo Marconi, Rome, Italy

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The World Health Academy of Dermatology, the Vitiligo Research Foundation, the Military Medical Academy of Belgrade Serbia, the University of Parma-Italy and the University of Rome Guglielmo Marconi, Rome-Italy have successfully joined Vietnamese Dermatology Community in the ambitious project of positionìng Vietnam in the Dermatologic Olympus.

AIM: The aim of our special issue is to present some pearls of the Vietnamese Dermatology devoted to the description of the national and hopefully international declining of traditional therapies.

METHODS: We present 36 contributions from all academic hospitals of Vietnam reflecting the therapeutic strategies and every day’s dermato-venereology practice in Vietnam.

RESULTS: This special issue show the efficacy and safety of our Vietnamese approach continuously embracing the concept that “old and traditional is beautiful when safe, effective and cheap”.

CONCLUSION: Vietnamese Dermatology is deeply concerned with any possible marketing orientated lucrative therapies, thus emphasising the risk/benefits ratio of “old-traditional” versus “new” therapeutic strategies.

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REFERENCES

Georgouras KE, Wittal RA, Baird PJ. Recurrent cutaneous erythralgia and arthralgia. Australasian journal of dermatology. 1992; 33(3):121-6. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-0960.1992.tb00098.x PMid:1303070

Shumaker PR. Laser scar management: focused and high-intensity medical exchange in Vietnam. Cutis. 2018; 102(2):95-98. PMid:30235367

Do NA, Nguyen TD, Nguyen KL, Le TA. Distribution of Species of Dermatophyte Among Patients at a Dermatology Centre of Nghean Province, Vietnam, 2015-2016. Mycopathologia. 2017; 182(11-12):1061-1067. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11046-017-0193-x PMid:28831770

World Dermatology Summit, Hanoi, Vietnam, November 30 – December 2, 2017. https://www.worldhealth.academy/world_dermatology_summit

World Vitiligo Day. http://25june.org/en

cover_issue_166_en_US

PUBLISHED

2019-01-28

ISSUE

SECTION

Editorial

Copyright (c) 2019 Thuong Nguyen Van, Michael Tirant, Phuong Pham Thi Minh, Francesca Satolli, Claudio Feliciani, Aleksandra Vojvodic, Torello Lotti

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Monday

09:00 – 05:00

Tuesday

 

 09:00 – 05:00

Wednesday 

09:00 – 05:00

Thursday

09:00 – 05:00

Friday

09:00 – 05:00

Saturday-Sunday

Off

Copyrights © 2019 Psoriais Eczema Clinic.  All Rights Reserved.

2000-2010 Clinical Trials

2010 Clinical Trials

Clinically Validated

We follow a scientific method
At Psoriasis Eczema Clinic we believe strongly in following the scientific method to ensure our treatment protocols are as effective as possible. The following papers details few of the clinical trials on effective psoriasis treatment protocols that have been conducted both in Australia and overseas.

Australian Trial

Report of the study of the “Dr Michaels” topical product family in psoriasis. (Australian Trial)
PDF: AustralianTrial.pdf

Austrian Trial

“Prospective, randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study on the efficacy and safety of a series of herbal skin-care products for stable chronic plaque psoriasis.”

Dermatology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, Dermatology, Psoriasis & Skin Clinic, Melbourne, Australia, and was published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, Volume 18. Number 6, November 2004. P061.

Background: Among patients with psoriasis concern is growing about possible side effects of long-term steroid therapy and more and more of them turn to complementary treatment options.

PDF: AustrianTrial.pdf

Czech Republic Trial

Study about Efficacy of Dr Michaels Pharmaceuticals in Psoriasis in Sanatorium of Prof. Novotný in Prague. “The goal of the study was verification of the efficacy of Dr Michaels remedies in selected patients suffering from psoriasis…..The comparative tests have monitored status and therapy before Dr Michaels treatment. This fact is described in 10 patients under review….We evaluate the results of therapy by Dr Michaels remedies on average on 90% namely not only in 10 cases monitored in the study, but in additional 65 cases treated in our clinic by these remedies…” Prof. Novotný.
PDF: CzechTrial.pdf

Hungarian Trial

“Evaluation of the Dr Michaels topical product family in psoriasis, to determine its efficacy, adverse effects and tolerability.”
“Based on the results of this study, the Dr Michaels product family can be successfully applied in mild to moderately severe psoriasis.”
PDF: HungarianTrial.pdf

Polish Trial

“These preparations due to the simultaneous operation of oiling and moisturizing, the absence, in most cases, the occurrence of side effects, can be used for a long time and recommended for long-term care of the skin in patients with psoriasis.”
PDF: PolishTrial.pdf

Romanian Trial

“Trials were conducted at Department of Dermatology, SEMMELWEIS UNIVERSITY, BUDAPEST and at Department of Dermatology, KOLOZSVAR, ROMANIA”
“95% of the patients stated that they would continue to use the product due to it’s effectiveness, including those who had only moderate improvement.”
PDF: RomaniaTrial.pdf

Russian Trial

Clinical examination of the efficacy of preparation Dr Michael topicals in the treatment of cases of psoriasis with differing severity.

“This treatment method is highly effective and, in terms of efficacy, it is comparable to the generally used therapeutic regimen which is based on the application steroid ointments with fluoride content.”
“Dr Michael’s preparations do not have severe side effects, they are user-friendly, they do not have an unpleasant smell, and they do not stain the underwear and can successfully be applied in the case of outpatients as well.”

PDF: RussianTrial.pdf

The Results Of Attestation Study Of Effectiveness Dr. Michaels Psoriasis Products (undertaken during the years 2005-2008)

Conducted by Prof. MUDr. Jana Hercogová, CSc.
Summary results of tests on 203 patients. Very good results were achieved with chronic psoriasis, whereas in acute stages the good results were not often delivered.
The following specialists participated in this study:

Monday

09:00 – 05:00

Tuesday

 

 09:00 – 05:00

Wednesday 

09:00 – 05:00

Thursday

09:00 – 05:00

Friday

09:00 – 05:00

Saturday-Sunday

Off

Copyrights © 2019 Psoriais Eczema Clinic.  All Rights Reserved.

Stress Management

stress_3

The Importance of stress management

Stress is an intrinsic part of living in today’s world. There are times when we all go through acute phases of stress that are relatively short lived, and somewhat manageable as we know that it will pass. Living with chronic stress has an insidious effect on our overall health and can be responsible for many illnesses we experience today. Our mental and emotional wellbeing can also be affected as the stress begins to wear us down.

Learning how to look after yourself during times of stress is imperative in minimizing the overall negative effect it has on your system as a whole. This becomes extremely important when a pre-existing illness is present, as the additional stress can escalate symptoms and worsen the condition.

The next few blogs will discuss some easy to implement techniques for feeling less stressed, more relaxed and peaceful, as well as some dietary tips to increase your energy levels and prevent illness.

 

Recognising symptoms of stress

Short term or acute stress is fairly easy to recognise. These physiological responses come from the adrenal gland where adrenaline is released upon perception of a threatening situation.

Some of the symptoms you will want to be aware of are:

Rapid or shallow breathing

Increase in heart rate and blood pressure

Nausea – due to inhibition of digestion. Blood flow is redirected away from stomach, can also cause a nervous feeling in the pit of the stomach

Dry mouth

Trembling or shaking

Increased blood flow to skeletal muscles

Cerebral blood flow is reduced, and rational thought is compromised.

Increased alertness or agitation, “knee jerk” reactions and instinct become prevalent.

Dilation of pupils

When these sensations begin to be felt it is now time to take evasive action to minimize the elevation of the situation on an emotional and physiological level.

 

Chronic Stress and its consequences

Stress is a natural transient state for all human beings. We are designed to be able to activate survival mode whenever a perceived ‘life threatening’ event occurs. We are designed to be able to escape this event by utilising the enhanced physical capacity we temporarily have. What if there is a constant bombardment of perceived threats throughout the day, what happens to us physiologically when that energy isn’t utilised to physically fight or flight (run). Our nervous system isn’t designed to cope indefinitely with this pattern, so a different defence mechanism is utilised by the body and different hormones and effects will occur.

When we switch into a long term stress pattern, the main hormone the body utilises for ‘survival’ is cortisol. That is not to say that we no longer produce adrenaline, if the stress is bad enough, we can be pumping that out as well. Cortisol is designed to protect us in long term stress as the body’s wisdom dictates by this stage we must be injured or in some dire physical state.

So what does cortisol do to the body? Or in other words what are the signs of chronic stress?

It is now believed that Cortisol is responsible for immune dysregulation. What this means is that there are mixed messages for the body’s immune response – it may switch off the part of immunity that is responsible for monitoring and eliminating infections, which is why we can become sick more often or can’t seem to fight off a common cold. The immune system may go into a hyper state as well which means it can be so primed that it actually starts to attack even our own tissue which leads to inflammation. This is where if you have a chronic condition such as arthritis or any sort of autoimmune disease, the symptoms will worsen when you’re stressed.

Cortisol also increases insulin output under the assumption that if the body has been in a state of constant physical threat then the body must need more glucose in the cells to be able to have the energy to sustain itself. The net result of increased insulin is weight gain,(especially around the gut), sugar or carbohydrate cravings, and fatigue.

Cortisol is at its highest in the morning – one sign of long term stress or ‘adrenal fatigue’ is feeling absolutely wiped out and tired with difficulty getting out of bed first thing in the morning. As the day goes on you may notice a peak in energy around 5:00pm and then go to bed exhausted but unable to sleep. This is a common pattern.

Cortisol also increases risk of heart disease, and promotes premature ageing. CRH is the hormone that switches on Cortisol release. CRH also has an impact on the body such as increasing pain perception, and also affects bowel function.

The long term effect of elevated stress hormones will also have an effect on the brain, and reasoning and emotional control will also be affected. Many people that have been coping with stress long term will find their ability to focus and concentrate on tasks is diminished. They may also experience mood swings, frequent weeping, or poor anger control.

The above symptoms illustrate why it is so imperative to learn to recognize the symptoms of stress, and its progression into a chronic state. This needs to be addressed and corrective measures are put in place. Allow yourself some time to practice the suggestions in the followings blogs and be patient with the process.

Smiling Mind offers a free guided meditation app: https://www.smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app/

Stress & The Effects on the Skin

stress

It has been established in recent years that the skin is a direct target of psychological stress via a cascade of hormones, neuropeptides, and neurogenic signals (causing nerve hypersensitivity and inflammation). The skin has been shown to be capable of launching its own local response to stress as well by producing many of the same substances that the brain produces, further enhancing the local effect at the skin level when someone is under acute or prolonged stress. It is no surprise that the skin can perceive and respond to stress similar to the brain and nervous system, since the two systems have evolved from the same germ layer during embryonic development.

The main skin cells (keratinocytes), mast cells (involved in allergy type reactions and inflammation), immune cells, and peripheral nerve endings all will have an effect on various cell behaviour and processes within the skin under stress that can lead to skin disruption, premature ageing and disease development.

The skin is rich in nerve endings, so when an individual is stressed the peripheral nerve endings secrete numerous substances such as Substance P and Nerve growth factor that contribute to hypersensitivity, inflammation, and allergic reactions.

Due to the impact of stress related hormones and peptides, and growth factors on the skin, stress can play a role in the development and exacerbation of skin disorders such as Eczema, Acne, Psoriasis, and Rosacea.

Psychological stress activates the autonomic nervous system to trigger release of catecholamines [e.g. epinephrine and norepinephrine] from the adrenal glands, and in situations of chronic stress corticotrophin releasing hormone [CRH] and ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), mediate a release of glucocorticoids (Cortisol) from the adrenal cortex.

Here is a brief outline of some key stress mediators and the effect that they have on the skin:

Glucocorticoids:

Excess levels can cause atrophy and impaired wound healing by interfering with keratinocyte and fibroblast function. Keratinocytes are the primary skin cells that form the epidermis of the skin, and fibroblasts are responsible for collagen and elastin formation.

This manifests as atrophy and thinning of the skin, increased trans-epidermal water loss related to disruption to the skin permeability barrier, and easy bruising with impaired wound healing.

The skin barrier is also negatively impacted by excess cortisol as this effects the lamellar bodies in the skin cells which are responsible for lipid synthesis; the lack of essential lipids weakens the barrier resulting in dry skin, allergies and sensitivity, delayed healing and infections.

Insulin:

Excess glucocorticoids stimulate Insulin production and lead to insulin excess and Insulin resistance. Elevated Insulin stimulates IGF2 (Insulin growth factor) which increases growth of keratinocytes, and stimulates abnormal keratinocyte growth, (exacerbates Psoriasis and Acne) and increases androgens and testosterone release.

Substance P:

This is neuropeptide released in times of stress. Substance P stimulates sebaceous germinative cells and proliferation of sebaceous glands which results in excess oil production and blockage of the oil ducts and the development of acne. Substance P also activates mast cells, increasing histamine release and itch sensation. Substance P induces vascular permeability and inflammation, which aggravates conditions like Eczema and Rosacea.

Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH):

CRH stimulates release of MSH (melanocyte stimulating hormone) causing hyperpigmentation and blotchy skin.

Catecholamines (Adrenaline, Noradrenaline)

Decrease blood perfusion to skin reducing availability of oxygen and nutrients resulting in poor texture and sallow / pallor. Catecholamines have also been shown to cause immune suppression, interfere with DNA repair and contribute to ageing.

Managing stress

While the effects of stress on the skin are only briefly outlined above, it illustrates the significant impact this can have on individuals predisposed to skin conditions. It is therefore imperative to minimise stress where possible in order to avoid any exacerbation of skin disorders.

There are some straight forward tips to reduce stress such as getting a good night’s sleep, exercising and following some simple dietary guidelines (listed below).

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Reduce salt intake

Avoid alcohol

Avoid caffeine

Avoid skipping meals

Avoid refined, processed foods.

Avoid high fat foods

Do eat high fibre, low glycaemic index diet

In the following blogs we will present some relaxation techniques that are easy to implement and will have a direct effect in reducing the side effects of stress.

 

References

  1. Dunn, Jeffrey HKoo, John; Psychological Stress and skin aging: A review of possible mechanisms and potential therapies; Dermatology Online Journal 19 (6): 1 University of Colorado, School of
  2. Medicine, 2 University of California, San Francisco, Department of Dermatology 2013 Permalink: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/3j0766hs
  3. Jessica M. F. Hall, desAnges Cruser, Alan Podawiltz, Diana I. Mummert, Harlan Jones, Mark E. Mummert; Psychological Stress and the Cutaneous Immune Response: Roles of the HPA Axis and the Sympathetic Nervous System in Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis; Dermatology Research and Practice Volume 2012, Article ID 403908, doi:10.1155/2012/403908
  4. Ying Chen, John Lyga; Brain – Skin Connection: Stress, Inflammation and Skin Aging; Inflammation & Allergy – Drug Targets, 2014, 13, 177-190
  5. Theoharis C. Theoharides, Jill M. Donelan, Nikoletta Papadopoulou, Jing Cao, Duraisamy Kempuraj, Pio Conti; Mast cells as targets of corticotropin releasing factor and related peptides; TRENDS in Pharmacological Sciences Vol.25 No.11 November 2004

The Importance of Adequate Hydration

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“Water is defined as an essential nutrient because it is required in amounts that exceed the body’s ability to produce it. All biochemical reactions occur in water. It fills the spaces in and between cells and helps form structures of large molecules such as protein and glycogen. Water is also required for digestion, absorption, transportation, dissolving nutrients, elimination of waste products and thermoregulation” (regulation of body temperature) (Kleiner, 1999).Hydration fact sheet- facebook (1)

cucumber-salad-food-healthy-37528mineral-water-lime-ice-mint-158821Key Facts 

Up to 2 litres of Water is lost daily due to bodily functions, such as perspiration, respiration, urination and defecation.

Diuretic substances in your diet such as caffeinated beverages, alcohol, high sugar and salty foods will increase water loss from the body.

Water requirements range from 8-10 glasses per day depending on diet and physical activity levels. As we age, we have a diminished sense of thirst and tend to drink less fluid, although water is still required. It is therefore important to ensure we drink an adequate amount of water, even in the absence of thirst.

Water can be consumed from drinking pure water as well as from eating certain foods. Depending on diet, up to 50% of your daily water intake can be derived from foods provided they are high in water content such as fruit, salad, soup and vegetables (i.e. iceberg lettuce and cucumber).

How dehydration impacts your skin condition

Key signs of mild to moderate dehydration include increased sensation of pexels-photo-136871pain, thirst, stiffness, headaches, lack of concentration, fatigue and skin problems.

The skin contains approximately 30% water. “Water intake, particularly in individuals with low initial water intake, can improve skin thickness and density and offsets transepidermal water loss (water lost through the skin surface)” (Popkin, Rosenberg & D’Anci, 2010). Hydration improves skin resiliency, elasticity and texture.

The water content in the skin contributes to important functions of the skin such as the development of a healthy skin barrier. The skin barrier guards the skin from microbial infections and infiltration of foreign substances which can cause skin flare ups.

Water deficiency can also lead to impaired skin processes, which can then worsen skin disorders such as dermatitis, psoriasis, acne and rosacea (Rodrigues, Palma, Tavares Marques & Bujan Varela, 2015).

Key tips to keeping hydrated

Create a routine: If you aren’t used to drinking water on a regular basis, start with four glasses of water a day. One glass on rising, one mid-morning, one mid-afternoon and one on retiring. This eliminates 4 out 8 glasses per day. Once you establish this routine, start adding additional glasses of water throughout the day, for example before meals

Convenience: Keep water with you at all times. Keep a refillable water bottle with you at work, in your car, and to take with you when you go on walks etc. Get used to sipping on water as part of your daily routine. Convenience is key, otherwise if it’s out of sight, it’s often out of mind!

Flavour: If you don’t like the taste of water, there are several ways to make it more enticing. Add some fresh herbs like mint, or fresh fruit, or a very small amount of juice (just enough to add a hint of flavour).

Variety: Mix up your water variety and add in some natural sparkling mineral water.

Eat foods high in water content: Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, in doing so will assist in keeping your body hydrated (this information should not replace any dietary information given by your psoriasis eczema clinic practitioner).

Be aware of cravings: if you are craving salty foods as this can be a signal from the body that you are dehydrated. Try drinking a glass of water before reaching for salty foods.

For more information on the health benefits of water and charts for daily consumption visit: https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/water

Reference:

  1. Popkin, B., Rosenberg, I., & D’Anci, K. (2010). Water, Hydration and Health. National Institute of Health68(8), 439–458. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x
  2. Kleiner, S. (1999). Water. Journal Of The American Dietetic Association99(2), 200-206. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0002-8223(99)00048-6
  3. Rodrigues, L., Palma, L., Tavares Marques, L., & Bujan Varela, J. (2015). Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology4(411), 413. http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/ccid.s86822