Learnings – WHAT IS PSYCHODERMATOLOGY?
Words by Emily Coogan
Mind Your Skin: the rise of psychodermatology
Where our mental and visual appearances meet.
The mind-body connection has long been studied and rightfully respected, but psychodermatology is a relatively new principle attracting scientific eyes.
It’s a field of medicine that focuses on the interaction between the mind and the skin. A blend of psychology and dermatology, this field acknowledges that there is a connection between the mind and skin. And as such, mental and emotional wellbeing can affect the onset, course and treatment of various skin conditions.
While the integration of psychology and dermatology has become more widely known within the recent years, the term itself was cointed in the 1970s by Dr. Norman Cousins, an American journalist and author.
Since then, research and clinical practice in psychodermatology have advanced, leading to a better understanding of the mind-skin connection and the development of various treatment approaches.
Psychological factors – like stress, anxiety, depression, and other emotional states – can have a significant impact on the skin's health. As such, the management of skin conditions has been expanded to include psychological-based interventions (including therapy, stress management and mindfulness).
We now know that skin issues are rarely skin-deep. Taking a holistic approach to the treatment and management of said concerns are becoming more and more common, as the research and literature continue to affirm their benefits.
As such, psychological-based practices, like breathwork, therapy, and mental wellbeing rituals to treat skin concerns are on the rise, showcasing the strong and intricate relationship between the body and the mind.
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