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Stress
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Stress

My question has been to some extent answered by an earlier stream on your site, but as often happens, some thoughts which I'd like to share with you have arisen in its wake.  After many years of experiencing sporadic and various manifestations of very itchy rashes on my body (most recently tiny clear yellowish blisters between fingers) and related visits to doctors, I have become convinced that these eruptions are stress-related.  Things are changing slowly, but the medical community is generally not too comfortable with the concept of the body-mind connection in disease.  (Of course, a balanced approach is required, so as not to overlook primarily physical causes.)  Paying insufficient attention to emotional causation of a patient's physical symptoms would not be such a problem if it made no difference to her long-term health, and if there were no way to address the issues in a preventive-medical fashion.

Yet, there is indeed a problem.  If the presence of a rash (which is clearly not related to a known physical pathology or a physical/chemical irritant) is not understood to be the body's signal of inability to cope with the quantity/quality of current stressors, there is little chance that the patient will recognize her need to address her stress tolerance issues.  And though there is likely little hard research as yet on the connection between: chronic, perhaps only occasional (though no less tortuous, for that) manifestations of such stress-related symptoms; and, the development of disease in the longer term (cancers, for example), I, among others, am convinced of the critical reality of this relationship/connection.  (Chronic dependence on cortisone, moreover, can only negatively impact the body's hormone balance, with far-reaching effects).

There must be much greater focus in our medical systems brought to bear on the desirability of:  encouraging mindfulness in patients as to how stress impacts their bodies; and, giving patients tools (especially non-pharmaceutical ones) which they can learn to apply (with consistent practice and discipline) to either cause these stresses to be smaller, or to make larger their own capacity to tolerate the stresses.  We live in a global society which makes it almost impossible to escape chronic stress-overload.  It is the hypersensitive/hyperreactive individuals with, as Gabor Mate (Canadian M.D. and author) puts it, "emotional allergies", who are living out the roles of the canaries in this mine that is our world.  A still-greater commitment in the medical community to awareness, education, and further research on the connection between emotional and physical health is crucial.            


This discussion is related to small, subdermal 'blisters'.
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3 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

It has long been established that stress either in the form of direct mechanical trauma to the body, or in the form of emotional and pscyhological factors may actually manifest overtly as a disease condition. It is indeed a complex process and several disease states from seborrheic dermatitis, cardiovascular disease, stroke to certain cases of cancers arise secondary to stress. Stress appears to be relevant to the medical community as medicine begins to evolve and molecular and genetic factors come into play.Stress leads to disease due to an underlying interplay of factors in the molecular level.This is something that we need to look into. Stress may also involve the sociocultural factors that contribute to our understanding of disease and the management of such diseases.

Complementary modes of therapy and alternative medicine have evolved with conventional  strategies of medical therapy to provide a wholistic approach in managing and caring for a patient.

I believe that much of the medical community is aware of this. Each physician knows that healing the body encompasses healing the person which means healing not only the disease but the mind and soul of the patient as well.
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Avatar_n_tn
Its weird I'm 23 and have gotten these stress blisters for about 5 years- mainly on my hands but once or twice on my toes. They do go away. Yesterday it was barely perceptible on my left index finger while I was practicing guitar repeatedly with much stress focussed on that finger (playing a barred chord over and over with said finger). When my boyfirend got home we fought some about lack of communication again and the state of the kitchen etc. Being on the other side of the world from my family has been difficult/stressful. Also I wear gloves for many hours in my cow milking job.
When I woke up this morning the whole top half of my finger was swollen and the blisters had popped themselves, giving my cuticle area a look of ingrown nail or something with a gap- very inflamed with clear yellowish weeping. Not itchy per se, but sore, dry and difficult to move. I doubt any creams will improve this as they haven't in the past and I will wrap it a bit to protect from wind changes etc , I basically have to force myself not to worry about that or much else...
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1444325_tn?1284387187
the first time i had this lil blisters on my palms and sides of fingers was about 9 years ago...i went to a doc and they didnt really say much other than the obvious (wash your hands)..duh....but he did mention stress...then they went away within a couple of weeks...since then i've hand them maybe 4 times...this one being the worst...i was going to go to the doc again but this made me decide not to waste my time...since they've always played their role and dissapear...the one thing i can say is that mine are not obvious at all except to me and do not itch or cause any pain...just my hands feel extremely dry and no matter what how i try to moistorize my hands...it wont work..
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