Is Psychodermatology the Answer to Your Skin Problems?

Answer: quite possibly. (BRB, calling my therapist.)

skin
(Image credit: Getty)

If you and your dermatologist are on a first name basis, it might be time to talk to a therapist. Yep—the issues you're dealing with emotionally could be leaving some seriously unwelcome marks on your skin. (As if puberty wasn't bad enough.)

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), psychodermatology is defined as the treatment of skin disorders using psychological and psychiatric techniques. In other words? The secret to getting rid of our acne, psoriasis, eczema and hives may be dealing with what's going on in your mind—not on your body.

While psychologists who practice in the field emphasize that the severity of your skin problem isn't connected to the severity of your emotional distress (translation: that huge zit could just be those hormones, girl), they stress that by dealing with the stuff going on in the inside, you should be able to see a difference on the outside. 

"This is a great role for psychologists," Kristina G. Gorbatenko-Roth, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, told APA. "Dermatologists and other health-care providers are out there doing the best they can for patients, but they're frustrated, because they see their patients' emotional distress but typically have neither the time nor the tools to fully address it."

You should also check out:

4 Scary Facts That Will Convince You to Finally Stop Touching Your Face (opens in new tab)

10 Ways to Wake Up Prettier Than When You Went to Sleep (opens in new tab)

10 Skin Secrets From the Ancient World (opens in new tab)

Samantha Leal
Senior Editor

Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.