How Our Skin Reflects Our Physical and Mental Well-being

Did you know that skin accounts for 16 percent of your total body weight? Being the largest organ in your body, the skin is around 2m² large and one of the first organs to form. Thanks to the skin, we’re constantly protected from various environmental factors, our body temperature is under control, and water balance in the body is always in check. Aside from offering all those benefits, your skin can also tell you whether you should be concerned about your physical or mental well-being. Even if you know that you’re having trouble coping with stress, or anxiety, your skin will show it anyway.

Skin conditions can indicate anxiety

According to numerous researches, close to 13 percent of dermatology patients have an anxiety disorder. Due to anxiety, certain skin disorders are indirectly exacerbated. Several types of skin rashes and urticaria have been linked to anxiety. Flares of conditions such as herpes simplex are often triggered by anxiety. When a person is feeling anxious about something, that could reflect on their skin through seborrheic dermatitis — a rash on the scalp and face that causes dry flakes like dandruff to red, itchy, scaly patches. 

If you have a hormonal imbalance, your skin will tell you

Have you noticed many breakouts along your jawline, lowering down underneath the chin and earlobes? If you have, then that can be the first sign of hormonal imbalance. More precisely, your reproductive health may need checking. Dermatologists have linked polycystic ovarian syndrome with breakouts along the jawline. Male-pattern facial hair and cystic acne that cannot be treated with traditional dermatological treatments may be the sign that your ovaries need treatment. 

In addition to PCOS, if you’re experiencing fatigue, anxiety, and cold or heat intolerance, you may also be suffering from hypothyroidism – low thyroid function. Dry, dull, ashy skin, along with brittle nails and hair will signal thyroid problems. If the problem has been untreated and progressed, you can also notice a thickening of the skin on your calves. For people over 30 or 40 who have never had eczema before, the appearance of this skin condition late in their life may signal hormonal issues like low thyroid.

Stress levels are visible on the skin too

Psoriasis, eczema, acne, and herpes simplex can all be signs of stress. If you’ve noticed itchy, flaky skin recently, and you’ve been overstressing yourself with work and other duties, you have your reason behind problematic skin. The minute your body starts producing too much of the stress hormone cortisol, your immune system will become suppressed. The result will be the inflammatory response in the skin. Talking to an expert dermatologist at Green Square Dermatology can be one of the best ways to learn about your skin condition. You’ll get invaluable advice on how to treat it and prevent it from flaring up in the future.

Diabetes can be diagnosed via skin condition

Have you noticed a velvety rash on the back of the neck or around the arms? Is it slightly darker than your skin tone? If you have, it can be a sign of an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, eruptive exanthemas, yellow bumps on the arms, legs, or rear, could signal high triglyceride levels. That is a sign of uncontrolled diabetes that you should not ignore. Shiny, thickened areas, known as plaques, can interfere with your skin’s ability to serve as a barrier. It’s recommended that you visit a doctor the moment you notice any changes in your skin because you can compromise the ability of healthy skin to fight off infections.

Liver problems reflected through the skin

Is your skin itchy all of a sudden? If you’re not suffering from any allergies, this can be a sign of cirrhosis or hepatitis. A yellowing of the skin may signal liver failure. It is usually followed by the yellowing of the whites of the eyes. With hepatitis C, raised red areas on your legs will also become noticeable. Liver disease has been shown to be strongly correlated with an ongoing itch, just as asthma, allergies, and eczema — all threats to healthy skin. 

Final thoughts

Being the largest organ in the body, the skin can inevitably show you many problems that are occurring with your health. Be it mental or physical well-being, signs of low thyroid function, liver problems, stress, and anxiety can clearly appear on your skin, alerting you in time to deal with all the underlying problems. Don’t ignore the signs, but be proactive about it and visit your dermatologist as soon as possible.