Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Infections Seep Into Skin More Easily Under Psychological Stress, Lab Tests Show

WebMD Health News

Psychological Stress May Mar Skin

Nov. 1, 2007 -- Psychological stress may make it harder for skin to keep infections at bay, a new study shows.

The study is based on lab tests in mice.

If confirmed in people, the findings may inspire the creation of new drugs to help skin defend itself against microbes.

In the study, some mice were exposed to constant light and noise for three days to induce psychological stress. For comparison, other mice weren't exposed to those stressors.

The mice then got skin injections of a strain of streptococcus bacteria.

Over the next week, the stressed-out mice developed more severe streptococcus skin infections and had higher levels of stress hormones than the mice that weren't subjected to stress.

Psychological stress was also linked to weaker bacteria-fighting ability in the skin of the mice.

The study suggests one way that psychological stress affects skin, note the researchers.

They included Karin Aberg and professor Peter Elias, MD, of the University of California at San Francisco and San Francisco's Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The study may lead to new drugs that promote skin's antimicrobial defenses, says the University of Tennessee's Andrzej Slominski, MD, PhD, in an editorial.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of ways to manage stress that don't require the creation of new drugs. Exercise, meditation, setting priorities, and counseling may all help with stress management.

The study and editorial appear in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Brush Up on Beauty

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices