Stress and Eczema

STRESS AND ECZEMA


Eczema is more than skin deep. People who suffer from this skin condition are more susceptible to mental health issues. That's partly because this auto-immune illness can be triggered by anxiety and stress. But having eczema, and the itch, dryness, and irritation associated with it, can contribute to stress and anxiety in a vicious cycle.

We asked Naturopath Tiffany Cheung, who specializes in treating eczema, having suffered from it herself, how this skin condition is related to mental health.


Eczema is more than skin deep. People who suffer from this skin condition are more susceptible to mental health issues. That's partly because this auto-immune illness can be triggered by anxiety and stress. But having eczema, and the itch, dryness, and irritation associated with it, can contribute to stress and anxiety in a vicious cycle.

We asked Naturopath Tiffany Cheung, who specializes in treating eczema, having suffered from it herself, how this skin condition is related to mental health.

1

Eczema is often thought of as strictly a skin issue. What should people know about how eczema relates to mental health?

In many cases, it goes beyond just the physical; confidence, self esteem and self worth can really be affected. In many of the people I work it, one of their biggest struggles with eczema is how it is affecting them mentally and emotionally. It affects how confident and professional they feel at work, how intimate they can get with their partners or how much time they can spend with their loved ones, which can really affect them emotionally. From children to adults, eczema affects us more than just physically.

2

Do you have a story or example that comes to mind?

Back when my eczema was at its worst, I felt like I couldn't show my skin and always felt the need to hide, whether it was when I went out to dinner or if it was going into work. I struggled to find clothes that would be comfortable enough on my skin and tops that were able to hide it at the same time. Not only did this take away from my being present with the people around me, it also consumed my mind, as it does with many eczema warriors.

3

Why is it important to address mental health as part of a treatment plan for eczema warriors?

How we view our eczema and our self worth plays a big role in healing. What we feed into our minds translates to our physiology and affects how our body responds. I truly believe that our mindset is a strong determinant to health, especially when it comes to overcoming eczema.

4

If someone is feeling the mental health affects from eczema, where do they start in their pathway to healing?

Reaching out for support and being open about your struggles can be very liberating and create big shifts in mental health. Feeling like you have to do the journey alone can be so daunting and destructive, but when you can surround yourself with people that can lift you up, it really makes a big difference. I also think that positive affirmations, prayer and meditation can go a long way - these are things I use for myself and for those I work with in my program.

5

What drives your passion to help others fighting eczema everyday?

I believe there is a better way than just steroids and that eczema needs a holistic, well rounded approach to address the physical, mental and emotional aspects. Because I am an eczema warrior myself, I am passionate about teaching others how to overcome eczema and have better control of their body, instead of having eczema take over their life.

6

Anything you'd like to add?

You don't have to be alone in this journey. Reach out if you are in need!

 

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