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Date:11/8/2007

Dermatologists Can Help Manage the Effects of Stress on the Skin, Hair and

Nails

NEW YORK, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Pending job cuts at the office. Back-to-back final exams. A messy divorce. An unexpected surgery. What do they all have in common? In a word -- stress. While everyone knows that stress can take a toll on a person physically and psychologically, it also can lead to dermatologic problems, such as acne, brittle nails or even hair loss.

Speaking today at the American Academy of Dermatology's Skin Academy (Academy), dermatologist Flor A. Mayoral, MD, FAAD, clinical instructor in the departments of dermatology and cutaneous surgery at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Fla., discussed the most common outward signs of stress on the skin, hair and nails, and offered stress management tips to control these symptoms.

"In treating hundreds of patients over the years with skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, acne and psoriasis, I have seen firsthand how stress can aggravate the skin and trigger unexpected flare-ups that, in effect, create more stress for patients," said Dr. Mayoral. "Learning how to manage the effects of stress on your skin can help alleviate some of the anxiety and symptoms."

Stress and the Skin

When a person becomes stressed, the level of the body's stress hormone (cortisol) rises. This in turn causes an increase in oil production, which can lead to oily skin, acne and other related skin problems. Dr. Mayoral noted that even patients with skin that is not affected by acne tend to develop temporary stress-related acne due to increased oil production.

In fact, a study in the January 2001 issue of the Archives of Dermatology entitled "Psychological Stress Perturbs Epidermal Permeability Barrier Homeostasis," found that stress has a negative effect on the barrier function of the skin, resulting in water loss that inhibits the skin's ability to
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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