Is It Time We Took Skin Issues More Seriously?

skin issues

Even if you count yourself lucky and rarely have to worry red patches on your cheeks or an ever-growing sun spot above your left brow, we’ve all woken up with a corker of a blemish that captures the gaze of anyone you encounter for the next three days. Those who have waged a war against skin issues, including rosacea and acne will be only too aware of the mental impact these can have over time. 

This week, the British Skin Foundation shared a survey that revealed that nine in 10 dermatologists believe that not enough importance is placed on the psychological impact skin conditions can have on us. “This survey demonstrates that dermatologists recognise some patients experience psychological distress associated with their skin condition,” says Dr Andrew Thompson, Reader in Clinical Psychology and Practitioner Clinical Psychologist, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust.

“It also indicates that whilst dermatology is making great advances in treating the medical aspects of skin disease, perhaps not enough is being done to address the accompanying psychological effects,” says Dr Thompson. In a world where we can disguise skin concerns with make-up or add a filter to a selfie some might assume that battling with a skin concern is less of an issue than it used to be. However, in the last few months, two writers have shared their experiences with rosacea and psoriasis and how they have impacted their confidence and mental health.

While Rose Gallagher might appear to be confident on her Instagram stories, she revealed that her rosacea still affects her mental health: “It still impacts how attractive I feel in myself, especially when it flares up.” On the other hand, Sophie Cullen struggled to have her psoriasis diagnosed.

This is not uncommon as Consultant Psychologist Dr Alexandra Mizara explains, “Skin patients often experience that they are not listened to or understood by their healthcare providers. The occasions that they are listened to and understood are rare and extraordinary.”

So, how can you seek out support, or help someone you know? “If you suffer with a skin condition that has impacted adversely on your life, talk openly about it to your doctor and ask them to refer you to see a psychologist,” says Dr Mizara. If you don’t get far with this, it is also worth seeking out skin disease wellbeing services in your area or talk-based therapies to help tackle any low mood or anxiety. Dr Mizara also recommends looking up charities and support groups.

For those looking for a natural remedy to help ease their skin issues, Clear Skin Complex by Viridian contains probiotics, zinc, selenium and burdock root to help soothe a range of conditions, including acne, eczema and psoriasis. While it won’t fix these concerns overnight, it does help support your body and ease inflammatory skin conditions. Shabir has written extensively about the supplement, here.

How To Get Clear Skin

How-To-Get-Clear-Skin

There are some people that are born with perfectly clear skin that they will have throughout their lives whilst many others need to work hard at keeping acne, spots and inflammation at bay in order to achieve a clear complexion.

Whether you suffer from acne, acne rosacea, blackheads, white heads, spots or inflamed skin, having clear skin not only gives us confidence in our daily routines as well as belief to approach any situation. There are enough studies on the relationship between acne and low self-esteem. For this article, I am specifically going to look at acne and spots.

The most common misconception attributed to achieving clear skin is that consuming junk food will lead to acne and spots. A diet predominantly relying on fast food is only part of the reason for the appearance of acne and spots. The most common cause of acne and spots is hormonal fluctuations such as those during your teenage years. The fluctuations also occur as women go through the perimenopause and beyond. Read More…

How To Treat Eczema

Sausage Tree

Eczema is a common skin concern which can affect virtually anyone with a number of treatment options, the most popular being natural and steroidal creams. According to Allergy UK, it’s thought that over 15 million people in the UK suffer with it. The term eczema is loosely used to describe a skin condition in which the outer skin layer is inflamed though and there are several ways to help relieve the symptoms.

What are the common symptoms of eczema

Eczema is normally a persistent skin condition which causes skin rashes and dryness of skin. The common symptoms of eczema include redness of skin, itching, inflammation, dryness, cracking, swelling, skin blisters and oozing of skin. Because eczema can be a repetitive concern, many people will experience some skin discolouration with scarring rarely a problem. Eczema is often mistaken for psoriasis, but there are several differences; the main one being that eczema invariably affects the flexible part of any of the joints. There are also other differences which include the time of onset and the differences in what triggers both these skin concerns. Read More…

Peace Balm

blackcurrent

A small tube of balm is having a big effect on troubled skin. A colleague tells me that the soothing natural remedy Selexir Peace Balm, containing aloe vera, honey and shea butter, was a ‘miracle-worker’ that had shifted a rough, dry patch by her mouth which nothing else had been able to improve. And a reader had an ‘itchy, red, warm patch of eczema’ by her elbow which the balm eased in four hours. ‘If it hadn’t happened to me, I wouldn’t have believed it,’ she said.

Read More…

Three of the Best Skin Calmers

lemon

1. FOR COLD SORES
Pharmacist Shabir Daya recommends lemon balm, which has been shown to combat and heal cold sores in two to four days. To avoid contamination, apply with a fresh cotton bud each time. Lemon Balm Cream by Granary Herbs, £8.50 for 60ml.

2. FOR ECZEMA IN BABIES AND CHILDREN
Steroid-free (but not natural) Dermalex Repair, developed by dermatologists, relieves itching and prevents new flare-ups. Dermalex Repair by Omega Pharma, £24.99 for 100g, from amazon.co.uk.

3. FOR PSORIASIS AND ECZEMA
Argan Organics Healing Touch is a totally natural treatment cream with cardiospermum, anti-inflammatory herbs and argan oil, which has helped many sufferers (no product will suit everyone, sadly). £19.99 for 100ml. Read More…

Alleviating Eczema And Psoriasis

eczema cream

Many people choose to seek natural remedies for alleviating eczema and psoriasis. These skin problems can give one a lot of discomfort and for some may be debilitating. Most of us use the term eczema and psoriasis very loosely and yet these two concerns are similar, yet distinctly different. The terms eczema and psoriasis are both of Greek origin. Eczema literally means ‘to boil out’ whilst psoriasis means ‘to itch’. Eczema affects both children and adults whereas psoriasis seems to predominantly affect adults. Surveys suggest that nearly 20% of children living in UK, and five percent of the adult population suffer from eczema whilst three percent of the adults suffer from psoriasis. When you put these percentages into numbers, we are talking in terms of millions of sufferers and it is no wonder that there are hundreds of both natural and pharmaceutical products aimed at both these concerns.

With eczema, the itch starts before the rash develops, whilst with psoriasis there is an increased growth in the outer part of skin, which gets inflamed resulting in white thick layers of skin. Both eczema and psoriasis are potentially allergic concerns that can be triggered by environmental factors, external allergens and even food intolerances. Although not fully understood, psoriasis has a hereditary component and may be triggered by stress and infections. Whilst there are different types of eczema and psoriasis, essentially the treatment for these concerns remains similar. Read More…