Stress can be a difficult thing to quantify. Many if not most of us operate with some constant level of stress in our lives. And while certain situations, current affairs and unanticipated events can increase anxiety levels and stress us out, our bodies can also respond to being overwhelmed. It is well recognized that if you are prone to certain skin conditions, stress can make them worse. As well, if you are under undue pressure, problems with your skin can surface.
What Happens When You Are Stressed?
When you experience stress, there is a chemical reaction that takes place within your body. This, in turn, can trigger a host of responses from increased inflammation in your body’s tissues, increased oil production in the glands of the skin, or an aberant immune reaction. A somewhat new field that highlights this mind/skin connection is psychodermatology.
What is Psychodermatology?
This field explains how the mind and skin are connected in different ways; one of those ways is through your emotions. Specifically, when you feel stressed, sometimes bodily systems, of which the brain and nerves are a part, can send signals to each other and trigger a response in your skin.
What Are Some Effects of Stress on the Skin?
- Acne – If you deal with acne, stress can cause hormonal fluxes and your body to produce more oil (what you don’t want), leading to breakouts.
- Flare-ups – Certain conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea are all prone to intensify during periods of stress. Hives, rashes, and fever blisters can also develop as a response to feeling anxious.
- Sweating/body odor – The sweat produced when you are feeling stressed is different than sweat due to physical activity. ‘Stress sweat’ comes from the apocrine glands and can cause an odor when it combines with bacteria on the skin.
- Hair loss – There are certain conditions like seborrheic dermatitis or telogen effluvium that are stress-induced, which involve the loss of the hair on your scalp.
Stress Management Techniques
What are some techniques to help you minimize the effect of stress on your skin? Consider engaging in some of the methods below.
- Deep breathing
- Listening to music
Other Helpful Methods to Deal with Stress
There are different approaches, such as relaxation training or habit-reversal training (where you train yourself to be more aware of your behavior). These can help, especially if you are dealing with more chronic forms of stress or where therapeutic intervention may be needed.
Benefits of Stress Management
Developing strategies to address the stress in your life is essential. When you are feeling less stressed, you feel better about yourself and are more likely to take better care of yourself. However, sometimes the services of a professional are required.
If you’re having trouble managing your skin, contact me for a skincare consultation today.Previous Post Next Post