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Managing the Effect Stress Has on Skin

Posted: December 14, 2007

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In her practice, Dr. Mayoral finds it beneficial to give patients the tools to help themselves cope with stress-related skin flares, particularly patients with eczema, acne, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis where outward symptoms are obvious. For example, Dr. Mayoral teaches her acne patients how to modify their treatment regimen to deal with flare-ups from stress, which gives them control to help themselves during stressful periods.

“Being in control of your situation can help relieve stress,” said Dr. Mayoral. “For instance, I teach my acne patients who use a topical acne medication once a day how to safely use the medication more frequently to counter the effects of stress. If this doesn't work, they know to call me or come in to the office so we can make further adjustments in their treatment. I find that initially giving them the power to fix the problem is very empowering to them.”

In addition, Dr. Mayoral offered tips to curb the effects of stress both internally and externally:
* Learn to recognize the underlying problem that is triggering your symptoms and develop skills to help minimize the stress.
* Exercise helps release endorphins in the body that can reduce stress.
* Avoid very hot showers or baths and use detergent-free soaps. Moisturize as soon as possible after bathing.
* Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily to protect your skin from sun exposure.