Skin diseases and psychiatric problems

Today I will share with you what complaints stress factors cause in our skin, which is the largest organ of the body. While we are all in a rush of life, succumbing to time, our brain continues to work biochemically. Hormones and substances secreted by our body during financial worries, work stress, family and children and all the rushes that I haven’t mentioned yet damage our target organs.

As you can imagine, the most important disease associated with stress among skin diseases is Psoriasis. In addition, we often observe that stress is a factor in hair loss. Psychological reasons are among the causes of the disease called alopecia areata in our society. Urticaria, or hives, can visit us at our most vulnerable, most stressful and sad time. Among viral diseases, warts, especially on the hands and feet, are still a condition whose psychosomatic etiology is being investigated. Again, the psychosomatic condition of the patient should be evaluated as a triggering factor in diseases such as pitriasis rose (rose disease) and lichen seen in our body.

Our people see and say very clearly; The sentence “This trouble has finished him” is almost an idiom. I am one of those who think that it is one of the most important reasons for the continuation and increase of the disease in attacks, even if it is not the primary cause of the disease, especially in introverted people who cannot reflect what is inside. For this reason, I approach my patients not only as a dermatologist, but as a therapist. The anxiety in the eyes of a young child, sometimes the indifference of his parents, sometimes the lack of communication with a friend or teacher at school, the presence of a new sibling, turns into a chronic disease with the privilege of parents. Sometimes, the repetition of the disease and its long duration can be a cause and a result, putting the person in a vicious circle.

I would like to share with you something that I especially shared with my patients. Skin diseases are the diseases that are most prominent in the showcase, that attract attention, that make you say “oh look what happened”. But in my opinion, the skin is a flexible organ that reduces the stress tension of the body in many diseases I have mentioned above. Of course, seeing it bothers you, but if this expression does not exist, would it be better if it destroys the invisible organs of our body and progresses rapidly???

Another problem is the emotional reactions to the disease, considering the appearance and body image of skin diseases. People with skin disease may use more alcohol and cigarettes because of this problem. Cases resulting in depression are common. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders in inpatient and outpatient skin patients is higher than in the general population. These psychological factors are more prominent especially in hand-foot eczema, adult-type atopic eczema and seborrheic dermatitis.

Dermatologists know that distress and major life events worsen inflammatory skin disease. For this reason, they say that the patients who applied to us had seen a doctor before, and they said that stress triggers boredom. In the literature, it has been reported that diseases such as alopecia areata (hair breaker), idiopathic urticaria (hives), aphthae, rosacea, neurodermatitis are seen together with depressive symptoms.

In patients, the cause and outcome of the disease are often confused. Here, the most important task for us physicians is to carefully investigate the cause-effect relationship. While some diseases may occur on the basis of depression and anxiety disorder, the long duration of some diseases and visual disturbance may cause depression as a result.

Sometimes the skin findings are symbolized by the location of the lesions. Stress may be localized by cellulite in a woman whose husband has lost interest in her, a rash on the penis in an impotence man, and itching on the hips of a sexually abused adolescent.

In some skin diseases, however, the primary disease is indeed a psychiatric disease. The patient greatly exaggerates these skin findings. Even if there is no physical symptom, body image may be impaired. Sometimes, it may have caused the itchy lesion or hair loss itself. Artifact dermatitis, parasitosis delusion, dysmorphophobia are some of these diseases.

I believe that when we physicians as well as patients change our point of view, we will see that these diseases can be treated more easily. There are absolutely many reasons among the causes and consequences of these diseases, but this reason is the most overlooked by both physicians and patients. Each person lives the World within himself. We can be outsiders, sometimes spectators, sometimes guests. In situations where we are involved, we should always look positive and overcome difficulties. When necessary, we should take the support of psychiatrists professionally, be aware of the chaos we are in, and then fight to get out of this situation.