In an earlier post we described how psychological stress can be hard on people’s skin barrier. But to gain a better understanding of how stress affects skin, how feeling anxious or depressed can be detrimental to the skin’s barrier, we needed to return to the laboratory.
Only in a laboratory setting could we learn what was happening inside the skin during stressful situations.
Mice don’t take exams – the stressful situation we studied in our medical student volunteers – but they can be stressed by sleep deprivation, or by crowded housing, or physical restraints. (Let us reassure our readers that all of these animal studies were approved in advance by our institution’s Animal Care Committee). We did indeed confirm that mice when stressed in these ways developed an impaired skin permeability barrier, just as we had found in our anxious medical students during exam periods. But we also learned that there were other ways that stress is hard on the skin. [Read more…] about How Stress Affects Skin