The mind and body connection.
“It’s all linked,” says Dr Reena, “anxiety, depression, stress – all different types of mental health problems have a huge impact on skin and vice versa.” It’s a vicious cycle – part biological, part psychological. The biological link: when you are stressed the 'stress axis' is activated in your body, releasing the 'stress hormone' cortisol. “High levels of this hormone in your body can trigger flare-ups. The psychological part of the cycle is then introduced – as well as increasing worry, the flare-up can exacerbate psychological difficulty like anxiety or depression,” she explains.
Do a bit of detective work.
If you think your flare-ups are caused by your emotions or stress, the first thing to do is keep a diary, so you know exactly when they are triggered. “Record what’s happening” says Dr Reena, “ask yourself if anything has changed – such as difficulties or stress at work or difficulties in a relationship. You’re looking for patterns.”