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Glucocorticoid plays key role in skin abnormalities induced by psychological stress

BETHESDA, Md (Dec. 1, 2006) -- Inhibiting glucocorticoid, a type of steroid, can prevent skin abnormalities induced by psychological stress, according to a new study from the December issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. The new study also shows how psychological stress induces skin abnormalities that could initiate or worsen skin disorders such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

The study, "Glucocorticoid blockade reverses psychological stress-induced abnormalities in epidermal structure and function," was carried out by Eung-Ho Choi, Marianne Demerjian, Debra Crumrine, Barbara E. Brown, Theodora Mauro, Peter M. Elias and Kenneth R. Feingold of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco and the University of California at San Francisco. Choi is also associated with Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea. The American Physiological Society published the study.

Previous research has shown that psychological stress increases glucocorticoid production. In addition, it is well recognized that psychological stress adversely affects many skin disorders, including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

"In this study, we showed that the increase in glucocorticoids induced by psychological stress induces abnormalities in skin structure and function, which could exacerbate skin diseases," Feingold explained. This provides a link for understanding how psychological stress can adversely affect skin disorders. Blocking the production or action of glucocorticoids prevented the skin abnormalities induced by psychological stress.

Skin protects

The skin is the body's largest organ and plays a crucial role in providing a barrier between the environment and the internal organs. It protects us from harmful microorganisms, ultraviolet light, toxic chemicals, and more. However, its most important function is providing a permeability barrier that preven
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Contact: Christine Guilfoy
cguilfoy@the-aps.org
301-634-7253
American Physiological Society
1-Dec-2006


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