Researchers find mental health problems link to skin conditions

A study by pharmaceutical firm Typharm, which produces prescription-only therapies, found 82 percent of sufferers said it left them lacking confidence, while others have been embarrassed by strangers asking about the condition. More worryingly, researchers found 32 percent of those polled said they had considered suicide.

However, seven in 10 of the 1,000 adults quizzed say they have never been offered counseling.

The study also found evidence of a postcode lottery for available help.

Around four in 10 in London, Sheffield and Birmingham had been referred for counseling, but only 18 percent in Belfast and nine percent in Leicester had been offered help.

An All Party Parliamentary Group said: “Mental and physical health are intrinsically linked. There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating people are at increased risk of having poor mental health when they live with a chronic skin condition.”

GP and skincare specialist Dr Nisa Aslam said: “The emotional impact of skin issues can harm every aspect of a patient’s life, from relationships, to work, to home and family life – there is no part of life not affected in some way.”

The study showed 83 percent have felt distressed over their condition, 81 percent felt embarrassment and 62 percent have overheard comments on their skin from strangers.

Dr Aslam added: “Inflammation is a common feature of eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis, and this may, in part, help to explain the link between skin symptoms and psychological well-being.

“Undertreated eczema and psoriasis can have a serious impact on quality of life, so it’s important to seek out information and support and ensure your condition is managed as effectively as possible.”

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