It's certainly not the first thing someone suffering from acne or eczema would consider as a form of treatment. But new research from the University of Sheffield indicates that techniques like relaxation sessions, meditation, and cognitive behavior therapy could help people suffering from psoriasis, eczema, acne and vitiligo, a pigment disorder.
A team from the university's psychology department analysed results from previous studies on treating skin disorders with some form of psychotherapy. The team discovered that the emerging field of psychodermatology has legitimate benefits.
The study was published in the British Journal of Dermatology, and includes findings from 900 participants across 22 studies.
Bevis Man, a spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation charity, told The Telgraph that the results will contribute to the ongoing debate about the substantiveness of psychological interventions in skin treatment.
“It is already widely acknowledged that distress, trauma and stressful periods of a person’s life are often triggers for the initial development of psoriasis and eczema, as well as subsequent flare-ups. It therefore makes sense that we attempt to tackle some of these underlying issues in addition to treating any symptomatic problems caused by the various skin diseases.
Indeed, researchers found that therapies aimed at modifying negative behavior, such as scratching or picking at irritated skin, were particularly effective.
The "meta-analysis" presented by the University of Sheffield contributes to ongoing research, including a University of Manchester study we mentioned in the recent past, looking at how mindfulness practices affect psoriasis.
To read the full article from The Telegraph, click here.
[photo © flickr.com/dermatology.com]