According to an expert study the physical symptoms of skin diseases can be reduced by psychological treatments.
It is believed by many that psychological conditions, such as depression and stress, are linked to various health problems but, only now it has been scientifically studied and proven.
AdvertisementTermed "psycho dermatology" by experts, this branch of science could well be on the way to pave a new path in the treatment of skin diseases. Cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation sessions and meditation were some of the psychotherapic techniques that were effective in treating those with psoriasis, eczema, acne and vitiligo.
Deborah Mason of the British Association of Dermatologists says that it has been long known that addressing a person's psychological problem can provide solace to the emotional impact of their skin ailments. But it is for the first time that it has been scientifically confirmed that the physical symptoms can be relieved through psychotherapy.
The results of 22 studies, involving more than 900 participants were analyzed by researchers. They found that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), which works by changing the negative thought patterns of the person, had a big impact and helped to alleviate the symptoms. They observed that that psychological therapies that were aimed at eliminating bad habits were the most effective. It particularly enabled patients to deal with the itching and scratching, which are characteristic features of skin diseases.
They found that the younger the patient, the more effective the psychological intervention was in treating the condition. There was a need to tailor the treatments while treating older patients.
The 'meta-analysis' carried out by the psychologists also discovered that group therapy was almost as effective as one-to-one treatment and that regular therapy must be followed up by booster sessions to maintain the early improvements in alleviating the symptoms.
The present study was published in the British Journal of Dermatology.