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Stress pushes skin to breaking point

A survey has revealed nearly seven in 10 UK adults are experiencing skin flare-ups due to stress.

Data commissioned by Typharm’s Skin Life Sciences Foundation has found that 66% of adults say that recent periods of stress and anxiety have caused skin flare-ups, dryness and itchiness. A quarter said their existing eczema or psoriasis gets worse when they’re stressed.

Nearly a third (27%) also reported allergic-type skin reactions which happened for no apparent reason. A quarter put this down to stress, while a fifth blamed it on anxiety.

There has been an explosion of skin conditions due to pandemic stress – especially the on/off status of lockdowns, travel uncertainty and experience of loneliness and isolation. According to a recent international survey of more than 4000 patients from 86 different countries, 43% reported worsening psoriasis, and people were twice as likely to report psoriasis flare-ups when they were experiencing mental health concerns. GP Dr Nisa Aslam from Typharm’s Skin Life Sciences Foundation says: “Stress and anxiety are typical reasons for skin flare-ups. Not only can they make existing psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis worse, but they can even lead to dryness, red patches and itchiness in people who don’t normally experience skin problems.”

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