A groundbreaking new study has found that lack of sleep can cause a weakening of the skin barrier, meaning that skin conditions like eczema could be triggered or made worse by sleep deprivation.
The study, carried out at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Centre and presented at the International Investigative Dermatology Meeting in Edinburgh, found that lack of sleep directly impacted the structural integrity of skin, meaning that the skin barrier is weakened.[quote]A weakened skin barrier from lack of sleep depletes the skin’s defences against skin conditions such as eczema or environmental and sundamage and recovery from trauma is much slower.[/quote]
While sleep deprivation has been linked to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency, its effects on skin function have previously been virtually unknown. This is one of the first studies that looked specifically at the detrimental effect of lack of sleep on skin.[quote]The study also found that susceptibility and recovery from skin inflammation and redness increased with lack of sleep, suggesting that skin conditions such as rosacea and other inflammatory ski conditions may also be exacerbated or triggered by lack of sleep.[/quote]
Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) recovery after a mild irritation to the skin was also found to be much slower in those suffering from sleep deprivation, meaning that the skin of sleep deprived people was generally both drier and weaker for longer than those who had adequate amounts of sleep.