Is Stress Keeping You from Having Healthy Skin?
Acute stress that pops up here and there is a natural part of life. But if chronic stress–whether it’s due to work, finances, building a family, or even anxiety–becomes a concern, it can have negative effects on your mind and body. When many people think of stress, images of poor heart health and high blood pressure are often the first things that come to mind. But what may be missing from the picture is the ill effects that stress can have on your skin.
Not only can stress wreak havoc on your nerves, cardiovascular system, and your mood, but it can also keep your skin from looking and feeling healthy and bright. Here are some of the telltale signs that stress is affecting your skin health.
1. Acne Flare Ups
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the United States, with the majority of Americans being affected by it at some point in their lives. But if your breakouts tend to occur right before an important meeting, an interview, or a test, your condition is most likely caused by stress. Our bodies interpret stress as a sign of danger, and triggers the release of the hormone cortisol. While cortisol can kickstart our physiological systems to help us quickly deal with a given situation, it also causes our skin to produce excess oil. And as any teen will attest to, excess oil can clog pores and lead to acne flare ups. (New York Times)
2. Inflamed Rosacea
If you have an existing skin condition like rosacea, which is characterized by red, dry patches of skin, stress can contribute to its severity. When you’re under stress, neuropeptides cause your skin to become inflamed and your blood vessels dilated, which then triggers a rosacea flare up. Studies have shown that reducing stress will limit the disruption of the nervous system and consequently reduce inflammation. With stress relief, the common symptoms of conditions like rosacea are likely to diminish on their own. (National Rosacea Society) .
3. Hives and Rashes
Although hives and rashes that show up on your skin are typically caused by allergic reactions or skin irritants, these conditions can also be due to chronic stress. If your body is under constant stress, your immune system’s function begins to decline. This triggers the release of histamines which your body typically use to fight allergic reactions. So in essence, when hives and rashes show up as a result of stress, your body is responding as though it were actually allergic to stress. (Hives.org)
Tips for Soothing Stress & Your Skin
One of the best ways to alleviate these symptoms is, of course, to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Oftentimes, making a few simple lifestyle changes can do wonders for your skin, not to mention your overall health. Some of the ways you can work to relieve stress include spending time in nature, adopting a healthy diet and exercise plan, getting enough sleep, and even listening to music.
If your skin conditions remain unchanged, or have improved but are still noticeable even after you’ve attempted to reduce the stressors in your life, you may want to consult a skin care professional. At Acqua Blu Medical Spa in Pittsburgh and Wexford, we offer a variety of treatment options for your skin care needs. ClearScan laser treatment can be a very effective solution for redness caused by rosacea, and Forever Young BBL utilizes broadband light technology to eliminate the appearance of acne and acne scars.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment with our board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ana Busquets, or one of our skilled physician assistants, please contact us at (724) 933-1800. Our team would be more than happy to help you take the first step toward feeling confident and comfortable in your skin.