The Psychology of Skin Disease & Prescription Products

In our pragmatic approach to cruelty-free skin care, we are focused on delivering you dermatology news, research and articles. In 2017, Anthony Bewley published an article: “The Psychology of Skin Disease” in the British Medial Journal (BMJ).

Within, Bewley notes: “Skin conditions can have a detrimental effect on most aspects of a person’s life, including relationships, work, social functioning, sporting activities, and ultimately their mental health.

Psychodermatology (or psychocutaneous medicine) is a professional marriage of dermatology, psychiatry, and psychology—a truly multidisciplinary team approach. Potential patients include those with primary psychiatric diseases who present to dermatology healthcare professionals with, for example, delusional infestation, body dysmorphic disease, or dermatitis artefacta; those with primary skin diseases such as psoriasis, alopecia areata, and vitiligo who have associated anxiety, depression, or even suicidal ideation; those with skin conditions secondary to psychotropic drugs (for example, psoriasis induced by lithium or β blockers); and those with psychiatric disease following drug treatment for dermatological disease (for example, suicidal ideation which may be associated with isotretinoin treatment for acne vulgaris).”

Caring for normal, combination or dry skin can be tricky – even more care should be taken when treating serious skin conditions including chronic acne or psoriasis. There are vegan skin care products available to care for all skin types, but the effects and relief of specific, medicated products are not often replicated with off-the-shelf options.

Isotretinoin (otherwise known as the brand name Accutane) is a retinoid compound and derivative of vitamin A (which is found at various strengths in other topical skin products), and has been animal tested at length. The psychological strain of acne can prove unbearable, and in these scenarios isotretinoin offers a highly effective clearing of persistent and dramatic acne vulgaris – but at what cost?

As mentioned in “The Psychology of Skin Disease”, suicidal ideation has been associated with drugs such as Accutane, and even the capsules housing the isotretinoin contain beeswax, making them across the board a non-vegan option.

Should the mental and physical wellbeing of the individual also be taken into consideration if all other alternatives have been taken to cure their skin disease, even if the consumed medication has been tested on animals before reaching the market?

We would love your thoughts in the comments below.

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