Skin is an organ like no other. It can be seen and touched; it is instantly visible on ourselves and others. And in addition to dictating much of our outward appearance—which has vast social significance—our skin allows us our sense of touch and serves as armor protecting us from hostile environments and microbes.
Just as skin serves multiple functions, conditions impacting our skin can have a multifaceted impact. People who have skin conditions may experience feelings of isolation due to how the appearance of their skin is perceived. For patients with conditions like psoriasis or eczema that are connected to stress, these feelings can be doubly painful—isolation breeds stress, which in turn exacerbates the condition. Skin conditions can undermine a patient’s ability to function at work, school, home, or other social situations, meaning they can have a serious impact on a patient’s financial security and emotional stability.