ZocdocAnswersCan depression cause skin problems?

Question

Can depression cause skin problems?

I have been battling depression since I was a teenager, and I'm in my late 20s now. Recently, in the middle of another depressive episode, my mouth erupted into all of these little, extremely painful sores. Could these things be connected?

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you have been suffering from depression. I hope that you have already seen or are planning on seeing a physician for this. Depression is a very treatable condition and should not be ignored. To answer your question, depression by itself does not cause skin problems or sores in the mouth, but I think that the two may be related. The sores in your mouth sound like oral herpes, also known as cold sores. These are small, painful, sometimes burning ulcers that develop in the mouth and on the lips. They are caused by an infection with the herpes simplex virus. This virus hides in our body where our immune system keeps it at bay preventing it from causing those ulcers. Whenever our immune systems get knocked down which can happen due to stress, these blisters can form. Thus it is possible that you depression created stress which allowed caused this problem. I should note that there are other possible reason for the development of painful mouth sores such as Crohn's diesease and Behcet's disease. The best type of physician for you to see to differentiate these issues is a primary care physician such as a family doctor or internal medicine doctor.

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