5 Natural, Steroid Free Eczema Treatments You Can Try At Home Today!

5 Natural, Steroid Free Eczema Treatments You Can Try At Home Today!

Feel like you are stuck in the itch-scratch cycle? Have you worked your way through conventional eczema treatments but still haven’t found the relief you were looking for? If you have answered yes to both these questions, you are certainly are not alone.

Whilst conventional eczema treatments can be effective for some, other patients find themselves in a cycle of dependency – in other words – it works when you use it and flares when you don’t. This cycle not only leads to frustration but also concerns about the safety of long term use.

This is why many eczema patients seek a more natural and holistic approach to their skin health.  

Whilst there is no cure for eczema, there are many natural treatment options that can help to support skin barrier health, reduce skin flaring and manage symptoms. Better yet, these treatments are easily accessible, inexpensive and can be started in your own home today!

Try these 5, natural steroid free eczema treatments:

1. Oat soak – a simple and effective way to soothe itch before bed time. Oats contain avenanthramides which have anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties. Simply put 1 cup of finely blended oats in a muslin cloth and tie it to the end of your bath tap. Let the warm water flow through and you can soak the itch away

2. As cool as a cucumber – Itch is one of the most common symptoms of eczema and can lead to vicious itch-scratch cycle which can be hard to break. Heat can be a major trigger of itch and therefore cooling the skin can make all the difference. Avoid hot/sweaty exercise (moderate is best), hot spicy foods, ‘heated arguments’ and of course, hot showers (opt for warm instead). You can cool your skin with a cold face cloth, a slice of cold cucumber or even add a drop of peppermint essential oil to your daily moisturizer for a cooling, anti-itch effect. Remember to patch test first!

3. Moisturise, inside and out – dry, rough eczema skin types do well with more moisture. This can include drinking plenty of water, using a humidifier in dry climates and frequently applying a gentle moisturizer. We recommend using eczema friendly oils such as castor and emu to help nourish your skin cells.

4. Barrier repair for skin and gut – There is growing evidence supporting the link between gut and skin health. Both require solid barriers and diverse microbiomes to function optimally. Collagen is a protein found in both animal and plant sources and has shown to support skin and gut structural integrity. Drinking freshly made bone broth is a great source of collagen and may help to provide healing support for damaged eczema skin. Read more about collagen and skin health here (https://www.psoriasiseczema.com.au/how-does-collagen-help-skin/)

5. Material matters – Itchy skin is irritable skin and that means that certain clothing and bedding materials are best avoided. Avoid scratchy materials such as wool and cut the tags off clothing where possible. Heavy clothing and bedding will heat up the skin and promote itch. Instead opt for light cotton or silk where possible – who doesn’t love a pair of silk pajamas!

Sometimes the simplest of changes can make the biggest difference!

The Psoriasis Eczema Clinic is a leading Australia clinic offering Complementary and Alternative therapies for the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, acne, rosacea and other chronic skin complaints. For individualised advice on steroid free eczema treatments, book a consultation with one of our practitioners today.  Call (03) 9770 5337.

5 Natural Psoriasis Treatments You Can Try At Home Today

5 Natural Psoriasis Treatments You Can Try At Home Today

Psoriasis is best known as a skin condition however it can also be considered a systemic illness due to the involvement of the immune system, joints, nails and comorbidities such as heart disease, obesity and depression. Most treatments target the skin which can be effective at providing relief. However, for longer lasting results, it is also important to address the internal factors that drive the condition.

Psoriasis can benefit greatly from a holistic approach that takes into consideration the total impact of the condition, including mental, physical, social, emotional and financial wellbeing. This is why diet, lifestyle and other natural psoriasis treatments can play such an important role in the treatment and management of this condition. Better yet, many of these treatments are inexpensive, can be found around the home and are readily available for all to try; so why not start today?!

  • Ditch the fats – obesity is not only a risk factor for psoriasis flares but psoriasis is also a risk factor for obesity. Research has showed that psoriasis patients may have poor tolerance of foods high in saturated fatty acids – such as fried foods, processed foods and high fat animal produce. Instead evidence supports high intake of veggies and fresh fish.
  • Salty skin – If you have psoriasis, then you may have experienced that it often improves with the sun and salt (aka ocean swimming). Another word for this is ‘thalassotherapy’ and you can introduce this into your skin care routine by having an Epsom salt bath 1-2 times per week. Just add 2 cups to your next warm bath and soak away. Helps with stress too!
  • Huff and puff – We know exercise is good for us, but it is especially good for psoriasis. Research has shown that vigorous exercise for up to 3 hours per week can help to reduce the risk of psoriasis. Some examples of beneficial exercises include jogging, dancing, bike riding, walking up hills, aerobics, skipping rope and sports like football and tennis. For those prone to friction and injury as a trigger of their psoriasis, it is best to avoid exercises such as rowing or contact sports.
  • A little ray goes a long way – As we spend more and more time indoors, our skin often misses out on receiving its daily dose of vitamin d, a key player in regulating psoriasis inflammation. To get your daily dose of the sunshine vitamin, aim for 15 minutes of sun exposure on bare skin during low UVB times (mid-morning or late afternoon).  Leave at dawn and get home at dust? No problems – just roll your sleeves up and enjoy your lunch break outside. If UVB is strong, limit exposure to about 5 minutes.
  • Turn wine into water – Psoriasis causes very dry, flaky skin that sheds frequently. Staying hydrated helps to keep your skin hydrated and improves skin barrier function. On the other hand, frequent or excess alcohol consumption has been strongly linked to psoriasis severity as well as association nutrient deficiency, liver damage and obesity. Why not challenge yourself to 4 weeks alcohol free and instead replace it with 2L water daily.   

Sometimes the simplest of changes can make the biggest difference!

The Psoriasis Eczema Clinic is a leading clinic offering Complementary and Alternative therapies for the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, acne, rosacea and other chronic skin complaints. With over 30 years of clinical practice, we are recognized for our effective natural psoriasis treatments Australia wide.

To book a consultation, call (03) 9770 5337.

5 Benefits Of A Holistic Skin Consultation

5 BENEFITS OF A HOLISTIC SKIN CONSULTATION

It can be a daunting experience starting a new treatment.  

 “Will it work this time?”  “How much will it cost?”  “What will I have to change?”

These are all valid questions we deserve to have answered before we commit to a new therapy and practitioner.  Whilst there are no guarantees, knowing what to expect can help make the process that little bit easier and put in place some realistic expectations.

Many patients who decide to take a more holistic approach to their skin treatment often share a similar story of past experience, some of which include;

  • “I’ve tried everything and nothing worked”
  • “I just didn’t feel listened too”
  • “I’m concerned about the side effects”

Whatever the story, the motivation behind taking more holistic approach is to find a safe, effective and natural treatment which takes into consideration the whole person and not just the symptoms.

When it comes to the skin, a holistic approach can have many benefits, including;

1. Getting to the root cause:  Chronic skin conditions can have multiple triggers, including those coming from inside and outside the body.  Addressing the triggers as well as the skin itself, helps to get to the root cause, ensuring longer lasting results

2. A treatment designed for you:  A key benefit of a holistic approach is that it takes into consideration the uniqueness of the individual being treated.  Therefore, instead of a one size fits all approach, treatments can be customised according to your needs

3. Feel listened to: Holistic consultations typically allow for longer appointment times so that a thorough examination can take place and your story can be heard.  After all, you know your body better than anyone and therefore sharing your story can provide key insights for your practitioner

4. Promote healing, naturally:  Holistic treatments typically take a more natural approach, utilizing nutritional, herbal, dietary and lifestyle medicines to not only promote healing but to restore balance and strength to the body’s systems

5. Feel empowered:  A holistic practitioner aims to empower the patient with knowledge, so that they can not only understand the nature of their condition better, but also play a key role in managing, preventing and healing the condition going forward.  Often patients with chronic skin conditions feel powerless and that their body is ‘broken’ or misbehaving in some way.  The alternative perspective is that your body is simply reacting in a protective manner in response to your current environment.  By understanding your body’s needs you can make more informed decisions and take back that control over your health.  

Psoriasis Eczema Clinic is a leading holistic skin clinic Melbourne.  For further enquiries please contact reception on (03) 9770 5337.

When Eczema is NOT Atopic Dermatitis

When Eczema is NOT Atopic Dermatitis

Eczema is a word we associate with images of a red, dry and itchy rash that so many of us experience as children, almost as though it was a rite of passage.  

It is true that eczema is a very common condition that can affect up to 30% of children in Australia. However eczema is not a term used to describe one condition, but a group of conditions that can present with both similarities and key differences.  In fact, the above description most accurately describes atopic dermatitis (also known as extrinsic eczema), which is form of eczema driven by allergy.  Despite 80% of all eczemas fitting into this category, 20% do not.  This eczema type is referred to as intrinsic eczema.

What Is Intrinsic Eczema?

Intrinsic eczema is essentially a form of eczema that is not driven by classic allergens such as dust mite, pollens, grasses and foods.  In contrast to extrinsic eczema, intrinsic eczema often has a later onset, milder presentation, different triggers and a different type of immune response.

What Causes Intrinsic Eczema?

Unlike extrinsic eczema, intrinsic eczema is not associated with a family history of atopy (allergy), such as the atopic triad of eczema, hay fever and asthma.  It is also not linked to the fillagrin gene which has shown to cause skin barrier dysfunction in those with extrinsic eczema.

Some studies have found associations between intrinsic eczema and bacterial colonization, such as Staphlyococcus aureus.  It is therefore possible that intrinsic eczema is linked to imbalances in the microbiome.  

How Do You Know If You Have Intrinsic Eczema?

In addition to meeting the above criteria, those with intrinsic eczema will test negative to allergy tests such as blood tests and skin prick testing. Some studies have also shown that Intrinsic Eczema more commonly affects extensor surfaces (such as the legs and elbows) as opposed to extrinsic which more commonly affects flexures (elbow and knee creases).

How Do You Treat Intrinsic Eczema?

The key differences between extrinsic and intrinsic eczema, highlights how important it is to receive a customised treatment approach as opposed to a ‘one size fits all’ eczema treatment.  Not only does intrinsic eczema have different triggers but it also affects different parts of the body and involves different immune cells.  Taking a holistic, customised treatment approach which recognizes the differences between various types of eczema, will not only help you understand the nature of your condition better, but also help you find a treatment which accurately targets relevant environmental triggers such as diet, lifestyle, microbes, chemicals and more.  

The Psoriasis Eczema Clinic the leading centre for Complementary and Alternative Eczema Treatment –Melbourne.  

Not only do we recognize the difference between eczema types, but we also use our observational skills to customize our topical treatments according to the presentation and body site affected.  Our treatments use natural ingredients which are designed to target the different triggers of eczema conditions and well as relieve the symptoms.

If you are looking for a holistic eczema treatment Melbourne – contact the clinic today on (03) 9770 5337.

Do Keto Diets Help Psoriasis?

Do Keto Diets Help with Psoriasis?

The keto diet is one of the most popular diets for those trying to lose excess fat. It is also well known for its positive health benefits for conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.  But how does the evidence stack up when it comes to the keto diet and psoriasis?

Given psoriasis is associated with increased rates of metabolic syndrome and obesity, one might assume that any successful weight loss regime is a good one.  However, a recent study has shown this may not be the case when it comes to keto.

The evidence

According to co-lead investigator, Barbara Kofler PhD, it’s all in the types of fats.  A well balanced keto diet rich in long chain triglycerides such as olive oil, fish, nuts and avocado, did not worsen skin inflammation, however it also did not improve the skin. In addition to this, a keto diet rich in medium chain triglycerides such as coconut oil, increased skin inflammation.

The other concern over keto diets and psoriasis is when they are not followed consistently.  High fat consumption combined with substantial carbohydrate consumption was also shown to promote the progression of psoriasis- like skin inflammation as well as spontaneous dermatitis in mice.

Several other studies on diet and psoriasis have also confirmed high fat intake to worsen psoriasis inflammation, such as the amounts associated with the typical Western Diet.

The Verdict

So what is the best diet for psoriasis?  Our PEC nutritionist recommends those with psoriasis to follow a modified Mediterranean style diet with plenty of olive oil, fresh fish and plant foods and less processed foods and animal proteins such as eggs and meat.  Read more about the benefits of fresh fish and psoriasis here

Reference:

  1. Felix Locker, Julia Leitner, Sepideh Aminzadeh-Gohari, Daniela D. Weber, Philippe Sanio, Andreas Koller, René Günther Feichtinger, Richard Weiss, Barbara Kofler, Roland Lang. The Influence of Ketogenic Diets on Psoriasiform-Like Skin InflammationJournal of Investigative Dermatology, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.jid.2019.07.718

Which Exercise is Best For My Skin Condition?

Which Exercise is Best For My Skin Condition?

Written by Phillip Bayer BHSc.Nat

As practitioners we see many patients wanting to incorporate optimal dietary and lifestyle habits in order to improve their skin health. Exercise is certainly an important part of a healthy routine to support chronic skin disease, not only to enhance physical wellbeing, but also for the mental benefits as well. When it comes to your skin health, the type of exercise and the environment you are exercising in are equally as important. See my below tips on which exercise is best for different skin conditions, to help you increase your fitness without the flaring.

Urticaria

If you have a heat-induced urticaria, avoid all forms of hot (intense) exercise and stick to very gentle exercise in the cool time of the day, being careful to remain within your limits to avoid exacerbating the flare. Opt for low intensity where the heart rate does not exceed approximately 110 BPM

Eczema

For eczemas and other allergic conditions where there is an inhalant allergy to pollen/ dust/ grasses and/or native plants, particular care must be taken to avoid exercise during pollination/ spring and when the wind is blowing. Exposure to those allergens may exacerbate your flare-up. During those times, exercising indoors may be a better option. Keep your windows and doors closed.

Psoriasis

In psoriasis, avoid exercise which may press or rub on lesions on contact points of the body, such as the elbows or the knees. Examples can include contact sports, weights or rowing (if hands are affected) and exercises that may involve helmets (if the hairline or scalp are affected). Friction and injury can both induce and exacerbate psoriasis lesions due to what is referred to as the Koebner Phenomenon.

If your skin is flaring but the lesions are not very red/ burning or very itchy, you can increase the intensity of exercise but again be careful to exercise in the cool time of the day and avoid strong direct sunshine on the skin. Chronic plaque psoriasis can often occur alongside comorbidities such as obesity and cardiovascular disease and therefore cardiovascular exercise can be very beneficial.

It is best to avoid swimming in chlorinated pools during a flare of any skin condition, but you may find swimming in the sea or a mineral pool helpful.

As always, listen to your body and discontinue exercise if your skin starts to feel worse – know your limits.

Skin Flaring? Keep your cool

Heat can be a common trigger of skin flaring and itching.

As a general rule, stick to doing exercise in the coolest time of the day, such as early morning or early evening when the sun is low.

If you are having an acute flare of your condition, and your skin is red, hot, burning or intensely itchy, abstain from heavy cardiovascular exercise. If you feel up to it, a gentle walk or stretching exercises such as yoga or Pilates is more suitable during this time. Avoid tight fitness wear where possible and opt for loose fitting clothes instead.

A cool shower or bath after exercise is a good way to cool down quickly and limit the risk of exacerbating your condition. Using a fan during exercise if the ambient temperature is warm can also help.

Autumn Newsletter 2021

Autumn Newsletter 2021

Wow – what a rollercoaster!

Since checking in with you last the clinic has been open, closed and open again! No matter what comes our way in 2021, we are pleased to offer our patients consistency of care via our Telehealth and postal services. This has provided convenience and flexibility during lockdowns but also helps us to care for our distance patients around Australia and the globe, from Ireland all the way to Qatar.

For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, we hope you have all had a restful summer, with some time to recuperate from 2020, For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, we hope you are keeping safe and warm as this cold snap passes through.

At the PEC, we now look towards Autumn, a transition season which allows us to prepare for the more extreme changes of weather to come. The theme of this months newsletter is therefore PREPARATION. If your skin typically flares in the winter or summer, now is the time to take preventative steps to build and strengthen your immunity and skin barrier function. A combination of self care, a great topical therapy routine (we have you covered) and functional foods (see below tips) should see you fully prepared for a healthy and happy Autumn/winter season.

Jessica Simonis – PEC Practitioner/Manager

Functional Foods for Stronger Immunity

If you have skin disease, then you also have immune imbalance. Your immune system, when in good health, is your defense against injury (think scratching), toxins and infection. In chronic inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea and eczema, your immune system is chronically activated against a perceived or actual threat. This constant state of activation increases the demand for energy and nutrients, making it even more important to consume a balanced, nutrient-rich diet in order to support optimal immune cell function.

Functional foods are foods that have demonstrated positive health effects, beyond basic nutrition. They can promote enhancement of well-being, improve quality of life and/or reduce risk of disease. Best of all they are foods which can (and should) be consumed as part of your everyday diet.

Here are our top 3 functional food suggestions to get your immune system in top shape this Autumn.

1) Dietary fibre –Found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and wholegrains, dietary fibre supports the immune system by helping to regulate intestinal bacterial balance and gut barrier function. This has shown to reduce allergic inflammation (great for eczema)

2) Home grown fruit and veg – Nothing tastes quite as good as your own home-grown food. Not only is it rewarding to spend time in nature, but home grown food is also free of herbicides and pesticides. It also hasn’t been frozen, cooked or radiated. In other words, it is in its natural state with all the beneficial nutrients and microbes to help encourage a diverse microbiome and healthy immune system. Eat a mix of raw and cooked plant foods for full benefits.

3) Eat ‘Mediterranean style’ – There is a reason why the Mediterranean Diet is one of the most researched diets for inflammatory conditions. With a focus on plant oils, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fish, this diet is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds including essential fatty acids and polyphenols. NB Skip the red wine and tomatoes if your skin is itchy!

Make it your goal to eat more immune building, functional foods this Autumn

Meet our newest team member – Susan!

We feel very lucky to have Susan join us as part of the PEC Team. She brings with her a great deal of warmth and empathy, as well as a wealth of knowledge from her many years of experience as a qualified natural health practitioner and educator. Susan will be working in reception and dispensary.

Product Special- 5 + 1 FREE

Our Moisturising Bar has been one of our most popular clinic products for decades and has more recently become a top seller through our Soratinex OTC range – no surprises there. If you haven’t tried it, you are seriously missing out.

Soratinex Moisturizing Bar is a gentle soap and shampoo alternative, perfect for those with sensitive skin of the body and scalp. Rich in natural oils and antioxidants, this luxurious Bar gently cleanses whilst nourishing the hair and skin. Contains Vitamin E, Lavender oil, Sweet almond oil, Evening Primrose oil, Avocado oil and Chamomile Oil. Clinical trials have shown these ingredients help promote the healing of dry, rough and flaky skin.

We have a 5+ 1 Free offer on this product, only available through clinic purchases. Replace your current body wash/soap with the Moisturising bar and you will help improve your skins lipid profile and reduce dryness as you prepare for weather changes ahead.

Purchase in clinic or place your order by phone – 03) 9770 5337 or email – info@psoriasiseczema.com.au.

Key Dates to Remember

  • Monday 8th March – Clinic Closed for Labour Day
  • Friday 2nd April – Clinic closed for Good Friday
  • Monday 5th April – Clinic closed for Easter Monday

How does collagen help skin health?

How does collagen help skin health?

Jessica Simonis – Nutritionist and Western Herbalist

Collagen is a protein and a vital ‘building-block’ of skin and joints. For this reason has become a popular supplement in the health and beauty industry. So how does collagen help with skin health? In today’s blog we will break down the facts about collagen and whether this latest craze is really worth the hype.

Skin benefits of collagen

Translating to the word “glue” in Greek, collagen has been well known for its role in tissue renewal and wound repair for many years. Some other skin benefits of collagen can include;

  • improved skin structure
  • Improved skin hydration
  • Improved skin elasticity

For those with chronic skin conditions, wound repair is an important part of healing and therefore optimal nutrition is essential to help restore healthy barrier function. Whilst collagen supplementation is lacking research in regards to specific skin conditions, having enough protein in your diet to support healthy skin function is a good place to start.

How do you know if you are getting enough collagen?

The human body has the ability to self-regulate collagen production. Therefore, a healthy individual will typically have enough collagen to maintain good skin and joint health, simply by eating a healthy balanced diet. However, during times of increased emotional and/or physical stress, the body’s ability to supply enough collagen can be impaired. *For other ways in which stress can affect your nutrition – see here.

Other factors that can increase demand in collagen can include:

  • Low protein diets
  • Conditions affecting digestion or absorption (eg. coeliac disease)
  • Certain medications (eg. antacids or protein pump inhibitors)
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • If you have a chronic, inflammatory skin or joint condition which requires ongoing repair

If you say yes to any of the above, chances are you could do with some extra collagen.

So, should you join the collagen powder craze?

Not necessarily.

Collagen proteins come from both animal and plant sources and therefore a balanced diet, rich in proteins will generally supply you with what you need. One of the richest sources of collagen is bone broth, a traditional food that is both nourishing and restoring. The perfect remedy for skin repair!

For vegetarians and vegans, it is recommended to eat a balanced diet including legumes, nuts, seeds and dairy (if tolerated). Where diet is insufficient, spirulina is a great supplement rich in vitamins, minerals and plant proteins. *See here for more science behind the health benefits of spirulina.

To conclude, collagen forms plays an important role in skin health and adequate amounts of collagen can be obtained by consuming a healthy balanced diet. In cases where diet is inadequate or demand is high, dietary supplements such as spirulina or collagen powders may be of benefit.

For the best advice on natural psoriasis and eczema treatments in Melbourne, contact our friendly reception staff on 03) 9770 5337.

Stress & The Effects on the Skin

Integrative Dermatology Blog Image

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).

stress_2

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