There are some skin conditions that may be psychosomatic but seborrheic dermatitis is not one of them. However, poor psychological states like chronic stress, anxiety and depression may trigger and worsen seborrheic dermatitis.
If you want to find out the most important mental change you can make to help your seb derm rash, watch this video:
Now let’s take a deep dive:
What are psychosomatic disorders?
If you look around the internet, you’ll find different definitions but psychosomatic disorders refer to physical symptoms caused by a psychological condition for which there is no medical explanation. One simple example is when you get butterflies in the stomach or feel breathless when you’re anxious.
Psychosomatic disorders are not conditions that affect someone physically and mentally. Most diseases do that. Physical illnesses that are aggravated by a negative mental state are also not defined as psychosomatic disorders.
Further reading: Does your skin rash have a spiritual meaning?
Is seborrheic dermatitis psychosomatic?
Seborrheic dermatitis is most definitely not psychosomatic. While we don’t know the exact mechanism for the development of seborrheic dermatitis in some people and not in others, SD is not all in the mind.
There are good medical explanations for seborrheic dermatitis. SD is likely caused by an overgrowth of Malassezia on the skin coupled with an abnormal hyperactive immune response to Malassezia byproducts.
Is seborrheic dermatitis psychological?
Even though seborrheic dermatitis is not caused by a specific psychological condition, negative psychological states like chronic stress, anxiety and depression may trigger or worsen seborrheic dermatitis.
There are many studies linking these conditions to skin disorders like eczema, atopic dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis. Anecdotally, SD sufferers find their skin condition worse when they are under stress or fatigued.
Further reading: Does depression cause seborrheic dermatitis?
Can psychological disorders cause inflammation?
There is a growing body of evidence that suggests psychological disorders can lead to inflammation. In fact, many disorders including auto-immune diseases and skin conditions are frequently precipitated or exacerbated by emotional stress.
When your body is under chronic stress and have a chronically elevated cortisol, it exists in an inflamed state. Over time, this leads to chronic inflammatory diseases. In fact, seborrheic dermatitis is frequently preceded by a stressful event.
How to improve your psychological state
If you’ve ‘done all the right things’ to treat your seborrheic dermatitis and still feel like you’re getting nowhere, it’s worth examining the stressors in your life and trying to improve your mental state.
Some people find that spending time outdoors in nature or engaging in physical activity can help them feel more relaxed and at ease. Others may benefit from reading or listening to inspiring or calming music, or taking a warm bath. In any case, finding out what works for you is the key to improving your mental health.
Further reading: How to treat your depression naturally?
To wrap up
Even thought seborrheic dermatitis is not a psychosomatic disorder, it is clear that there are psychological factors that can exacerbate the condition. If you are struggling with seborrheic dermatitis and poor mental health, this is something that needs to be addressed to prevent further SD flares.