Locate the connection between depression and acne

Sunday, July 24, 2011 by: Seppo Puusa
Tags: depression, acne, health news

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(NaturalNews) Depression and acne often go hand in hand. Most people dismiss depression as just an unfortunate result of such a visible skin condition. However for almost 100 years visionary dermatologists have known there`s more to the connection.

Though these two conditions are different, they share similar causes. They can also form a vicious cycle where acne causes depression, and depression causes acne.

Let`s start by looking at the common causes for both conditions.

Substance P - The molecular link between feeling blue and acne

Dermatologists and psychologists have always known that stress aggravates acne. A neuropeptide called substance P (SP) is one way this can happen.

SP is considered one of the central neurotransmitters. It`s involved in both the physical and emotional side of the stress response. On the physical side injection of substance P increases the levels of inflammatory stress hormones. On the emotional side SP causes feelings of anxiety and stress, and chronically high levels can lead to depression.

Substance P and the skin

The skin is peppered with substance P receptors. During the stress response SP binds to the receptors in the skin. And while this is helpful in defending you against external harm, it can cause harm on the skin when it happens too often.

Research shows that substance P:

- Increases sebum production
- Increases inflammation on the skin
- Increase turnover of the skin cells

That`s 3 out of 3 for the primary causes of acne. Does this mean SP alone can cause acne? Scientists don`t know yet, but it is known that injection of SP in to the skin can cause psoriasis flares - even in people not prone to getting psoriasis.

Inflammation Acne and Depression

Chronic inflammation is another common feature in acne and depression. Research shows that depressed people have lower levels of omega 3 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory vitamins and nutrients than non-depressed people. Also, omega 3 supplementation can ease depression. Earlier article at Natural News, Research shows inflammation causes acne, explains the role of inflammation in acne.

Depression Intensifies Stress Response

Stress and inflammation are two sides of the same coin. Depression intensifies stress response and can deliver a knockout, one-two-three punch on the skin.

- Depressed people have far more severe inflammatory response to stress compared with non-depressed people.
- Depression can dampen the immune system and signal opportunistic bacteria that the body is vulnerable and that it is a good time to attack. This can lead to long-term infections and increased levels of inflammation.
- Depression makes it harder to take care of yourself and stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle.


The skin is the most visible part of you. It is also the boundary between you and the external world. We often don`t think about it, but the skin can say a lot about you. As such, it`s no surprise that depression and acne often appear together.

Despite being radically different both conditions share similar causes, from substance P to inflammatory cytokines. Depression and acne can also create a vicious cycle where depression causes acne, which causes depression. And before this cycle is broken both conditions resist healing.


Interactions of the skin and nervous system.

Neuromediators--a crucial component of the skin immune system.

Neuronal control of skin function: the skin as a neuroimmunoendocrine organ.

Neuropeptides: role in inflammatory skin diseases.

Influence of substance-P on cultured sebocytes.

Substance P and human skin

Responses to intradermal injections of substance P in psoriasis patients with pruritus.

Effects of substance P on memory and mood in healthy male subjects.

Cytokines and major depression.

Cytokines: abnormalities in major depression and implications for pharmacological treatment.

The inflammation hypothesis in geriatric depression.

Lipids, depression and suicide.

The stress system in the human brain in depression and neurodegeneration.

Depression and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activation: a quantitative summary of four decades of research.

About the author

Seppo Puusa is the author of the best-selling acne book Clear for Life: Lifestyle for Health, Happiness and Clear Skin. The book gives a whole new perspective on acne, so it will finally make sense.
Clear for Life shows how the small, everyday choices you make today affect the way your skin looks tomorrow. By consistently making the right choices you engage the body's self-healing powers that can reverse the conditions behind acne. And overtime, acne just fades away.
Clear for Life is not a quick fix, or even a 30-day miracle, but for people who are willing to take responsibility for their own future it offers a simple, clear and makes-sense-in-your-gut solution to permanently clear skin.
To learn more about Clear for Life, please visit:
Seppo also has other websites, such as Proactiv Solution Info Center with hype free reviews and information about Proactiv, and Exposed Acne Treatment site at

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