The Structure of the Skin
The Mental Toll of Skin Conditions
Given that there is an entire branch of medicine dedicated to the study of the skin – dermatology – it should come as no surprise that we know quite a lot about it. There are a variety of illnesses – from the mild to the deadly – that can impact the structure of the skin, not to mention the many aesthetic concerns that many women have about their own.
Often, we talk about these things from a physical point of view. We talk about the scales of psoriasis sufferers; the redness of those with rosacea; the sores of the eczema sufferer; the wrinkles and fine lines we all try to banish. That makes sense, to a degree: skin is a physical health issue. But what about the impact on your mind?
• Depression & Stress-Related Skin Conditions
While these issues might be a physical issue, the impact they can have on how we feel about ourselves is huge.We live in a judgmental society, where celebrities have their fat ringed and held up to be mocked by magazine editors and schoolgirls think they are ugly. If you have a skin condition, then it’s very difficult to hide. It’s easy to think that makeup can cover the problem – but what about men, who don’t feel comfortable wearing makeup? Or the fact that makeup is a massive irritant for conditions like eczema and psoriasis?
Furthermore, why should someone have to hide because of something that is not of their making? All of these concerns swirl around in a sufferer’s mind, right up to the point where they trigger a bout of depression. The most punishing aspect of this is that depressive and stress will make stress-related skin conditions worse, it’s all part of breaking the vicious cycle.
• Breaking the Cycle
This quickly results in a sufferer who has true problems. Their initial condition and then the secondary depression that has stemmed from it. It might be easy to think that they are being melodramatic; that these things don’t matter. It’s easy, but it’s also massively untrue – people do notice skin conditions, and they will comment on them. The rosacea suffering will be asked why she’s blushing; the psoriasis patient will be queried as to why they have (what appear to be) burns.
Unfortunately, there is no easy cut-and-paste way to breaking the vicious cycle. The only method is through self-acceptance.
• Self-Acceptance is Not About Giving In
There is a strange belief that if you accept your often stress-related skin conditions, as part of who you are, you are accepting the condition itself. As if the moment the psoriasis sufferer decides not to cover up her scales, she has abandoned hope of exploring further options for treating psoriasis down the line. Nor has the rosacea sufferer who goes out with foundation covering her red patches, despite knowing it will be raised by thoughtless individuals.
Learning to deal with this is about confidence and acceptance, not capitulation. It’s an attitude of: “this is going to happen and I am going to fight it – but I can’t hide in the meantime”. You can still see doctors and experiment with natural remedies – but you accept your skin as it is while you do so.
To accompany this, it’s always important, to be honest with medical professionals and see a counsellor to help cope if needed. Confidence issues stemming from dermatological conditions can run deep – skin deep, in fact.
If you suffer from such skin conditions and you might know some great tips or remedies, would you please be so kind and tell us about in the comment section below?! Thank you so much for your time, it’s truly appreciated.
Take good care of yourself