Ever Wondered If Stress Can Cause Psoriasis?
Can stress cause psoriasis to flare, or even initiate it in the first place? This is a very interesting question and one that has been answered through many scientific studies over the years. For example, in one study, skin wounds on the arms of women who had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol had lower levels of key compounds released by the body to mediate healing.
Stress may make it easier for germs to infect skin wounds as researchers have proved. Investigators created skin wounds in mice that were exposed to stressful living conditions. The researchers then applied Streptococcus bacteria to the wounds, and compared the healing rates of the stressed mice with those of mice with skin wounds that were also exposed to the bacteria but did not undergo the same levels of stress. Mice that had been stressed out prior to wounding and infection showed a 30% delay in wound healing at 3 and 5 days compared with the mice that were not stressed, the report indicates.
In addition, the investigators found that after 5 days, the stressed mice had over 100,000 times more opportunistic bacteria in their wounds than the non-stressed mice. Seven days after the bacteria exposure, about 85% of the wounds in the stressed mice were infected, versus about 27% of the wounds in the non-stressed mice. In this study, stress increased the rate of wound infection by threefold. Stress disrupts the body’s equilibrium, in turn significantly impairing its ability to control and eradicate bacterial infection during wound healing. When you look at these kinds of results you begin to realise the stress can cause psoriasis to worsen considerably.
Can you see the relevance here with the above mentioned mouse study and psoriasis, stress and infection? Chronic stress, which has been called our number one health problem, is not something to take lightly, it can have profound effects on your immune system and your overall health, and if you want to recover from psoriasis you will need to understand this concept, learn from it and take it seriously.
Stress-Related Health Problem – The Main Reason People See Doctors
Estimates have placed stress-related problems as the cause of 75 percent to 90 percent of all primary care physician visits. Psycho-neuro-immunology is a whole new field that studies the effects of psychological stress on the immune system. Scientists in this area have demonstrated alterations in the normal function of immune cells in animals during times of stress. For example, excessive physical stress changes your immune cell profile. Increased upper respiratory tract infections occur in athletes who over-train, and a decreased cell-mediated immunity has been demonstrated in such athletes. Without a properly functioning immune system, your body is vulnerable to invasion by opportunistic germs such as candida albicans, viruses, bacteria and various parasites.
It is not practical to advise you to avoid stress because, let’s face it; we all have stress in our lives from one degree to another. What is practical, however, is to emphasize to you the importance of recognizing stress in yourself and others and more importantly in dealing with stress before it takes a toll on your health. There now exists ample scientific evidence to suggest that stress impairs the immune system, which allows underlying infections to cause damage.
Stress and Psoriasis Link is a Scientific Fact
There will be those who read this book and feel that there is little proof of a link between stress and psoriasis, but I can tell you from the research I have done when I wrote the Psoriasis Program, that this is certainly not the case. Just as in many dermatologic conditions, psoriasis appears to worsen with stress in a significant segment of patients, there are an incredible amount of studies which report that the proportion of psoriasis patients who respond quite strongly to stress and who notice skin aggravations in relation to stressful event ranges from 37% to an incredible 78%2. You may also like to read Stress And Psoriasis.
Relaxation And Meditation Calm The Mind And Fight Stress
Relaxation techniques can also be useful when stress becomes overwhelming. Yoga is a discipline I call “meditation in motion”, it can lead to mental clarity, greater self-understanding, and a feeling of well being, along with improved physical fitness. Many people experience benefits not only because of the physical stretching and muscle strengthening but also because of the meditative state that is encouraged. Have you ever considered that regular Yoga or Tai Chi may have a positive effect on your skin? They are both wonderful and will add a whole new dimension to your life.
Meditation is another technique that will allow you to calm your mind and fight stress. Meditating can help you to focus your thoughts on relaxing images or principles. Meditation has been shown in a 1998 study3 to have a most positive effect on reducing the skin aggravations as well as the duration of skin lesions in those with psoriasis. It can also help you to examine your daily life and determine what activities are contributing to your stress.
The bottom line is that stress shuts down either the recruitment or the function of those immune cells needed to fight skin inflammation and infection. Awareness of adrenal fatigue along with the correct treatment can significantly help by supporting the hormonal
You may also like to read more about psoriasis and stress here: