Overfocusing on the Skin

Many individuals report that their skin issues are aggravated by stress, anxiety and modest stages of depression. This phenomenon is cited liberally throughout medical literature covering not only seborrheic dermatitis, but many other closely related skin conditions (rosacea, psoriasis, and acne) [pubby id=“11443487”].

What’s not discussed as often, is the effect that over-focusing on your skin may have. Perhaps simply giving to much attention to your skin symptoms, may itself be perpetuating the issue at hand.

Relevant Evidence

Some of the more interesting findings in this area include:

  • Participants who had to perform a task in front of observers examining only one side of their face, showed increased skin blood flow and temperature specifically on the side being observed [pubby id="15032993"]
  • Socially anxious individuals experience a significantly higher level of facial blushing (produced by increased blood flow and skin temperature) [pubby id="19428972,12457633"]
  • Social anxiety and increased self-awareness is highly common amongst individuals affected by skin issues such as seborrheic dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis [pubby id="18033062,27688440,12810506"]

In summary, it really does seem that simply focusing on affected areas of skin may actually be the cause of worsening symptoms. And the potential mechanism behind these symptoms may be connected to increased blood flow and the accompanying increase in relative skin temperature.

Additional Notes

  • In my experience, individuals affected by various skin issues often give far more attention to the issue then would a impartial observer