New data from a nationwide survey, commissioned by Typharm’s Skin Life Sciences Foundation[1] – – has found that more than half of adults in the East of England (57%) say that recent periods of stress and anxiety have caused skin flare ups, dryness and itchiness. Nearly one fifth said their existing eczema or psoriasis gets worse when they’re stressed (17%).

One quarter (25%) also reported allergic-type skin reactions which happened for no apparent reason. Half blame household cleaning products.

There has been an explosion of skin conditions due to pandemic ‘living’ stress. According to a recent international survey of more than 4000 patients from 86 different countries[2], 43% reported worsening psoriasis, and people were twice as likely to report psoriasis flare ups when they were experiencing mental health concerns.

GP, Dr Nisa Aslam from Typharm’s Skin Life Sciences Foundation – – comments: “Stress and anxiety are typical reasons for skin flare ups. Not only can they make existing psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis worse, but they can even lead to dryness, red patches and itchiness in people who don’t normally experience skin problems.”

The Typharm survey also found that skin problems were a source of stress, with 48% of people saying unsightly patches of redness or scaling made them feel anxious, while skin itchiness and dryness made it hard for 36% to sleep. More than a quarter (28%) were reluctant to socialise or felt they had to cover up (12%) when experiencing skin flare ups. More than one in 10 felt judged or discriminated against (12%).

Dr Aslam adds: “There’s no need to suffer in silence as there are now several topical treatments for skin conditions which can be prescribed by a doctor or healthcare professional. Topical steroids are sometimes needed to control flare-ups, and while they cannot be used daily for prolonged periods, these medicines are invaluable for many people with skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

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