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Connecting Seborrheic Dermatitis to Disinformation

Our thoughts and beliefs have immense power. They can determine how we feel, how we act and the pleasure we get out of life.

Comprehending the simple fact that our thoughts have an effect on us is pretty straightforward. The difficulty is understanding how our thoughts and beliefs may actually be influencing every single cell in our body. Trying to explain this phenomenon would require a whole book on it’s own. So, instead of trying to go over everything, let’s simply discuss how incorrect beliefs may get in the way of normal immune function and skin stability.

How False Beliefs Can Emerge

Our beliefs come from the world around us. When presented with an idea, be it from our friend or a random person on the internet, our mind has to determine what to do with that information. If it’s perceived as important, valuable and correct, it may get established as a belief. And it is these beliefs which shape our emotions and thoughts.

Now, what if a false idea becomes a belief. How strong can the effect of this belief be? To demonstrate, let’s consider the following scenario:

  • Your start to experience a strange rash on your face which doesn’t seem to go away
  • You head over to the clinic and they tell you that you have a chronic skin condition which will never go away and requires ongoing treatment
  • Your not happy with his explanation, so you go home and start searching online about what the doctor has told you
  • Your searching leads you on a extensive journey through the internet, where you learn that your rash may be caused by a huge variety of possible reasons
  • Some of these reasons include a possible internal infection, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies and a various other potential health issues

Now, what type of impact do you think all of these new beliefs and ideas may have on you? What if you really begin to believe that you have an internal infection? What if you start to really believe that you are allergic to something you’ve always enjoyed? How detrimental do you think these beliefs may be to your immune function?

Negative Beliefs May Counteract Progress

Though it’s difficult to really answer any of the previous questions, research in psychoneuroimmunology strongly suggests that our thoughts have an immense impact on our immune function. Generally, negative thoughts have negative consequences and positive thoughts have positive consequences.

What is psychoneuroimmunology?
Psychoneuroimmunology is basically a long complicated term for research which focuses on trying to understand how our psychology influences our immune system.

Accordingly, perhaps some of the following circumstances can arise from your false beliefs:

  • You theorize that a food allergy may be at the root of your issues. This causes you to perceive threat from possible suspects (various food you eat), which impacts how your body digests it and how your immune cells react. In this case, the thoughts alone may in fact be powerful enough to mimic an allergic reaction.
  • You find yourself constantly stressed about the state of your skin and depression kicks in. Here, the negativity could result in a decline in immune function and may prevent the skin from healing.
  • You think you have a internal infection, so you start taking various suggested supplements without realizing these may be further fueling general inflammation and at the same time preventing regular digestion. In this case, your trying to improve your immune function, but your flawed understanding results in a overall negative outcome.

In most of these situations, you fall into a cyclic trap in which your own false beliefs may be further fueling your seborrheic dermatitis symptoms and preventing any real progress from being made. And though the above are just theoretical examples, real world cases do exist:

  • In an analysis of 13 individual who believed they had intestinal candidosis, serological tests failed to confirm a medical fungal infection. In these cases, researches noted that the individuals’ beliefs created a phobia powerful enough produce symptoms that mimicked clinical infection [1]
  • A 27 year old women believed she was allergic to peanuts and exhibited the usual symptoms of an allergic reaction. Medical testing showed no such allergy existed. Researchers then proved the lack of allergy using a controlled food challenge to the women, after which she could freely consume peanuts without any reaction [2]

And from these examples alone, it’s evident that our minds may be at-least partially responsible for creating part of the symptoms we experience.

As a result, for real progress to be made you may first have to deal with the false beliefs that you currently hold. This may ultimately allow you to focus on actual treatment of your seborrheic dermatitis and prevent any unnecessary flare ups.

Section Summary

This section discussed the power our thoughts can have on influencing our immune systems and their ability to actually cause symptoms. Key points include:

  1. Carrying false beliefs can drive bad habits, unstable emotions and a negative through process that has far reaching consequences
  2. A whole field of research, psychoneuroimmunology, is devoted to trying to understand the connection between psychology and immune function
  3. Evidence exists that beliefs can be strong enough to cause the immune system to mimic the symptoms of actual diseases and health issues
  4. It can be very difficult to eliminate a false belief once it has been established and external assistance may be required


  1. C Seebacher "[Mycophobia–a new disease?]." Mycoses 39 Suppl 1 (1997): 30-2. PubMed
  2. John M Kelso, Cathie Connaughton, Ricki M Helm, Wesley Burks "Psychosomatic peanut allergy." The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 111.3 (2003): 650-1. PubMed
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About Michael Anders

After being affected by seborrheic dermatitis, I have made it my goal to gather and organize all the information that has helped me in my journey.

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