According to statistics, approximately 50% of the UK population will experience a skin problem each year, with the most common conditions including eczema, acne and psoriasis.
Whilst skin conditions may technically be a ‘physical’ problem, in actual fact long-term issues can cause a huge amount of stress that can eventually build to a point where it begins to impact personal relationships, working life and socialising.
However, the emotional impact of a skin condition is very often overlooked, meaning that help is currently sparse and only available in certain areas. Bad has reported that there are now very few services available to help sufferers to cope with emotional impact of skin concerns.
As it stands there are just seven departments dedicated to psychodermatology in the UK, meaning some patients have to travel a huge distance in order to make their appointments, or simply have to skip them entirely because they can’t afford to pay for the journey.
Dermatologist and Bad chairman Tony Bewley spoke about how having a skin concern can seriously impact confidence and self-esteem levels: “Eighty-five per cent of our patients are worried about the impact it can have on their mental health.” He said.
In response to the Bad report, a spokesperson from the Department of Health said that local doctors are aware of what services their patient’s need and should be making appropriate referrals where necessary.
However, with the number of psychodermatology departments dwindling, Bewley has said that the government are still not off the hook, and more needs to be done to ensure that adequate resources are available to those who need them.
Long-term or short-term skin conditions can be extremely debilitating to self-confidence and self-esteem, often leaving us feeling that others are judging us on our appearance and that we don’t look our best.
Over time these problems can become more deeply ingrained if they are never addressed, which is why counselling can be extremely beneficial for individuals who wish to explore and eventually overcome such issues.
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