Many children and adults with eczema or skin conditions have a quality of life affected by their skin difficulties, sometimes leading to psychosocial issues, poor compliance with treatment, decreased self-esteem, sadness or anger issues and even absenteeism from school/work. A psychological approach specific to skin conditions' difficulties called Psychodermatology works in collaboration with the Dermatologists and provides better care and prognosis for them. The aim of this dual approach is to reduce the impact of social and psychological difficulties as stress can exacerbate skin difficulties. It aims to provide holistic care and improve psychosocial and psychological issues faced by children or adults and their families.
Psychodermatology is a relatively new discipline in Singapore, which addresses both dermatological and psychological aspects: skin reacts to emotional and environmental stressors as psychological states can influence physical states and vice versa. Severe dermatitis or skin conditions are now considered from a biological and psychosocial perspective relating to the link mind-body, the interaction between psyche and skin (emotional stress can weaken the immune system for example).
Psychological therapies canít always cure the underlying cause of eczema and skin conditions, but they can offer improvement in the management of these conditions by understanding and reducing psychological stressors. Because children and adults with skin conditions might also present with decreased self-esteem, interpersonal stress or psychosocial issues, Psychodermatology is a discipline that will bring great improvement in patients' life and skin conditions, because it considers the complex interplay between skin, neuroendocrine systems and stress: this approach has been helpful to reduce most psychological difficulties, but also helps with treatmentís compliance, acceptance of diagnosis, improves clients' quality of life, body image and self-esteem.
This approach can support existing skin conditions and help with new diagnosis of skin conditions and their effect on the personís well being, affect and coping with the diagnosis.