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More Stress-Related Skin Conditions Reported Since Recession: Study

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Nine out of ten dermatological medical professionals say there's been an increase in stress-related skin conditions since the recession, according to a new study.
Nine out of ten dermatological medical professionals say there's been an increase in stress-related skin conditions since the recession, according to a new study.

Are you allergic to economic downturns? You wouldn't be the first.

New research suggests that the last recession might be making people itchy. Nine out of ten skin doctors and nurses said they've seen an uptick in stress-related skin conditions since the recession, according to a survey conducted by the British Skin Foundation. The survey looked at the responses of 105 medical professionals who were in attendance at the British Association of Dermatologists' Annual Conference in July. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed said they saw the biggest boost in cases of eczema, and nearly one quarter said they saw the largest increase in cases of psoriasis.

Both skin conditions, characterized by redness and irritation, can be exacerbated by stress, according to the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.

With the economic downturn taking a toll on peoples' finances, it's no wonder they're more stressed out. The Great Recession that was supposed have ended in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, has left many families on the brink of financial collapse. And the recession brought on higher levels of debt-related stress, according to a study from the Associated Press.

Ranging from minor irritability to full blown physical symptoms, stress associated with financial concerns has different consequences for different people, mental health experts told The New York Times in 2009. Respondents suffering from debt-induced stress reported a vast array of physical ailments, including insomnia, back pain, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, headaches, anxiety and depression, according to the AP.

Some of the realities that go along with a recession, specifically minimized job security and drops in income, might also increase workplace pressures. Researchers at the University of Nottingham and University of Ulster found that workers take 25 percent more time off due to job stress during an economic downturn than they would normally.

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