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American Academy of Dermatology: How You Feel on the Inside Could be Affecting How You Look on the Outside
Date:11/13/2008

and they may start to feel better about how they look and how they're feeling emotionally."

Moving to the microscopic level, Dr. Fried added that stress reduction can decrease the release of pro-inflammatory stress hormones and chemicals. For example, release of neuropeptides (or stress chemicals released from the nerve endings) can be reduced with stress management techniques. This often results in skin that looks and functions better. These interventions can reduce blood vessel over-activity, resulting in less blushing or flushing. Decreasing stress allows the patient to focus more positive energy on good skin care rather than negative behaviors.

"It is fair to say that when people are under stress, they tend to 'fall off the wagon' in terms of practicing good skin care," said Dr. Fried. "They may not use their sunscreen or their skin care products when they're feeling stressed, because all of their energy and focus is being diverted by their ongoing stress. They also might not be eating or sleeping as well or staying hydrated, which all can contribute to a dull or lack-luster appearance."

With accurate diagnoses by a dermatologist, effective treatments improve the appearance and function of the skin. This alone can substantially reduce patients' stress and improve their skin, hair and nail conditions. However, Dr. Fried noted that if stress is clearly interfering with patients' overall well-being and ability to cope, simultaneous stress management interventions are warranted. In some instances, referral to a mental health professional who has an interest and understanding of skin problems may be warranted.

Cosmetic Interventions

While skin rejuvenation procedures have been shown to significantly improve a person's outward appearance, studies suggest these types of cosmetic interventions also can have positive effects on how people feel and how they function.

"When people feel more attractive and more confident in their a
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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