New Questionnaire Confirms Link Between Skin Care and Emotional Well-being

Plenty of people feel great after a day at the spa and lousy after a big acne flare-up, but dermatological health might be even more tied to a person’s emotional well-being than anyone could have guessed.

Using a peer-reviewed and peer-created questionnaire called The Aesthetic Dermatology and Emotional Well-being questionnaire (DEBIE), researchers were able to determine that a patient’s quality of life, self confidence, satisfaction with their appearance, and emotional well-being can all be improved through cosmetic intervention. Symptoms of anxiety and depression also decreased.

Their findings are in line with what a group of skin specialists and estheticians recently told the Chigago Tribune. According to Daniel Rutkowski, who works as an educator and clinic supervisor of Skokie’s Estelle Skin Care and Spa Institute, skin specialists can have an immensely positive impact on a patient’s emotional well-being.

“An esthetician can … help to minimize or even eliminate the negative psychological effects brought on by the skin condition,” Rutkowski told the Tribune.. “Estheticians have an amazing opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of others.”

In Rutkowski’s experience, estheticians are able to comfort clients with skin conditions and provide them with treatment that improves their self-esteem and happiness. This was especially true of patients struggling with more concerning conditions like those related to cancer.

“Emotional well being is definitely tied to the skin,” says Dr. Janis P. Campbell, Dermatologist, Laser Rejuvenation Clinic & Spa of Calgary. “Botox recipients score much better on the DEBIE. We also see acne, melasma, and psoriasis patients becoming more outgoing and confident as they improve.”

The DEBIE will help quantify anecdotal evidence like Rutkowski’s. The 57-question form takes approximately 14 minutes to complete and assesses six different factors: The importance of skin’s appearance to the patient, whether the patient has considered aesthetic skin treatment and whether they think it will reduce signs of aging, how knowledgeable the patient is of noninvasive or minimally invasive skin rejuvenation treatments, and the potential of cosmetic treatments to improve a patient’s self image, social relationships and optimism.

The initial test group for the questionnaire was a 770-individual sample from the Spanish general population, but researchers hope to expand use of the questionnaire now that it’s proven to be an effective way to assess the relationship between cosmetic skin care and emotional well-being.

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