Objectives: Medical students are usually exposed to academic and social isolation in addition to environmental and financial stressors. There is a growing concern about an association between increased academic stress levels and several skin disorders. This paper aimed at assessing perceived stressors and their origins by examining the relationship between academic stress and skin disorders among medical students at the University of Albaha.
Methods: A cross-sectional study consisting of 251 medical students from both the male and female sections was conducted. The participants received a self-administered questionnaire consisting of sociodemographic profile and origin of stressors, such as academic, psychosocial, and environmental stressors, and a Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) with a modified form of the self-reported skin disorders. Skin examinations were done via dermatological consultant at Albaha University Medical Centre.
Results: Academic stress, in comparison to other types of stressors, represents 80.5% of the origin of stressors affecting stressed medical students. Being female in academic years above the third year was associated with the highest, most significantly perceived stress levels among all students. Loss of hair, pimples beside oily, waxy patches on scalp, itchy skin and troublesome sweating were the top common highly significant dermatological symptoms among all students at different levels of perceived stress.
Conclusion: Several skin disorders occur in response to academic stress among medical students.