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					FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                Media Contact: Lisa Ballou
April 3, 2003                                        Harrison Edwards PR 914-242-0010

               FACE THE FACTS: STRESS AFFECTS YOUR SKIN

     Stamford Dermatologists Rena Fortier M.D. and Donald Savitz M.D. explain
                             the skin-stress connection

Stamford, CT………… “It’s no coincidence that your skin lets you down just when you
want to look your best,” says dermatologist Rena Fortier, M.D. “A special occasion, a job
interview – anything that makes you feel pressured or stressed can trigger a response in
your skin such as pimples, eczema, or a tired washed-out appearance.” Dr. Fortier, who
founded Long Ridge Dermatology with Donald Savitz, M.D. in 1995, frequently treats
skin problems associated with stress, and counsels her patients on effective stress-
relieving techniques.


       Drs. Fortier and Savitz find stress to be an “equal-opportunity” problem that
plagues a full cross-section of their patients – men and women, young mothers and
executives, students and the fully mature. “Financial worries, global concerns, wedding
plans, final exams -- everyone is exposed to a certain amount of anxiety these days,”
points out Dr. Savitz. “Understanding the body’s response to stress helps us get to the
root of the problem, so we can relieve the causes as well as the symptoms.”


       Most people don’t realize that our skin is an organ than can be affected by the
hormonal balance in the body. When powerful hormones and enzymes are released
because of stress the balance changes. Adrenaline is the primary stress hormone, called
into action when a spurt of energy is needed. An adrenaline rush redirects blood away
from the skin, sending it to the muscles and organs so the body can rise to the challenge
of an emergency or crisis. In times of constant stress, skin becomes deprived of essential
nutrients carried in the blood, and becomes pale and washed out-looking.
              Anger, irritability, and frustration release chemicals that stimulate the sebaceous
glands to produce more oil, resulting in pimples or an acne flare-up. Stress and strain
also slow down the rate of cell turnover, so fresh epidermal cells take longer to reach the
skin surface. By that time, much of their moisture has been lost, causing the skin to take
on a dry, sallow appearance. The nervous system, too, is affected by increased anxiety,
and can prompt an outbreak of hives. Various types of herpes – from fever blisters to
genital herpes – can result when the immune system is compromised by stress. Other
chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis, eczema, and itching, are often aggravated by
stress.


          Dr. Fortier suggests several tips and treatments to help revitalize skin that is
showing signs of stress:


          -     Resist touching the skin; dirt and oils from fingertips …(we need an
                explanation)
          -     Have a glycolic peel. This 30-minute treatment removes the top cell layers,
                revealing the fresh skin surface underneath. The half-hour relaxation is an
                added bonus.
          -     Add oatmeal or baking soda to a warm bath, and enjoy a relaxing soak
          -     Use a moisturizer regularly.
          -     Speak to your dermatologist about over-the-counter cortisone ointments and
                oral anti-histamines that may help (what conditions?)


          “Of course, the best way to relieve stress-related skin problems is to do something
about stress!” says Dr. Fortier. “Meditation, exercise, deep breathing, or simply making
time to relax will help.”


          Long Ridge Dermatology is a comprehensive dermatology center that offers
medical treatment for adults and children, and provides a full range of cosmetic services,
including laser treatments for everything from hair removal to facial vein removal. The
practice is dedicated to providing the safest and most advanced procedures in clinical and
cosmetic dermatology. Rena Fortier. M.D. holds degrees from Barnard College and
Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Donald Savitz, M.D. completed his undergraduate and
medical degrees at George Washington University. Both physicians are Board Certified
dermatologists. Long Ridge Dermatology is located at 1051 Long Ridge Rd. in
Stamford, CT. For more information, please call 203-329-7960.

				
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