I am often asked by patients, is my skin condition worsened by stress? Regardless of which condition, the answer is almost always “yes”. Stress and anxiety can impact our bodies in many ways, and often our underlying skin conditions worsen. Inflammatory conditions such as acne and seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) are particularly susceptible. If you sometimes get a little flaky or itchy on the scalp, but lately the symptoms have intensified, you may be experiencing a flare of seborrheic dermatitis. Over the counter dandruff shampoos can be helpful, such as Head & Shoulders and Selsun Blue. When these are not enough to control symptoms, it may be time for a prescription shampoo and/or topical scalp treatments to ease the itch. For acne-prone skin, the stress hormones our bodies produce can especially trigger deeper nodules on the face, chest, back, and arms. Over the counter treatments like benzoyl peroxide washes (5-10%) and Salicylic Acid (2%) are great at reducing oil and opening clogged pores. These washes do not do as well at getting to the deeper, under the skin spots as topical retinoids and oral prescriptions. Differin is a medication that was once a prescription but now is available over the counter. The brand has many products, but the retinoid you want has the active ingredient adapalene gel 0.1%. Anything stronger is only available with a prescription. If you or your family is struggling with either of these conditions, or other skin issues currently flaring up, we can help! Telehealth appointments are available now! You can message us through our secure messaging app, Klara, at 205-490-2785 or call us at 205-580-1500 to set up an appointment. ⁠

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