Researchers have shown that stress and anxiety can make it more difficult for wounds to heal. Professor John Weinman, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, presented the findings at the Cheltenham Science Festival. Healthy volunteers, whose levels of stress were determined using a standard questionnaire, were subjected to small ‘punch’ wounds.
The wounds of the the most stressed candidates were found to heal twice as slowly as the least stressed candidates. It was found that levels of the stress hormone cortisol determined the differences in healing rates.