Does Stress Affect Skin Disease Severity?


A recent study, published in The British Journal of Dermatology, demonstrated that stress was associated with emotional and functional impairment among individuals with skin diseases and high anxiety sensitivity (AS) social concerns.

In the study, 237 participants with active skin disease symptoms completed online questionnaires that assessed stress, AS social concerns, skin disease-related quality of life (QoL), and global skin disease symptom severity.

The relationship between stress and skin disease-related emotional and social functioning was moderated by AS social concerns. Likewise, stress was a significant predictor for skin disease-related impairment.

“Stress was linked to skin disease-related emotional and functional impairment associated with skin disease among individuals with high AS social concerns,” the researchers concluded. “These results highlight the potential for AS reduction interventions to break the vicious cycle of stress and skin disease symptoms and to improve psychosocial well-being in dermatology patients.”

—Melissa Weiss


Dixon LJ, Witcraft SM, McCowan NK, Brodell RT. Stress and skin disease quality of life: the moderating role of anxiety sensitivity social concerns [published online February 8, 2018]. Br J Dermatol. doi:10.1111/bjd.16082.