You’re probably familiar with what stress can do to the mind and the body, but have you given any thought as to what it can do to your skin? You’ve probably seen it, especially before a big date or the day you have to give an important speech at work. That’s right, the stress induced acne eruption that always finds a way to show up smack dab in the middle of your face.
Wreaking havoc on your skin
Let us face it, stress can wreak havoc with your skin. When you are stressed, your body will respond, in some ways chemically. The reaction can send your hormones crazy and this can affect the look and health of your skin. When you’re stressed out so is your skin, and when you are more sensitive, your skin follows suit.
Going back to the big date scenario, there’s more than mere tormenting fate that is making the acne show up right before the date. You get stressed, your body starts to release a chemical called cortisol, with a mix of other hormones in response to the stress threat it perceives. The cortisol and hormones instruct the sebaceous glands in your body to start making more oil, and this immediately increases the likelihood of breakouts.
What is cortisol?
Coritsol, while necessary to normal functioning, is a steroid in the body that can have a negative impact on immune system functioning. When this happens you are more likely to get the flu, colds and other illnesses, and you are even more reactive to allergens. If you have existing skin conditions, stress can make them even worse. If you suffer from dermatitis, eczema, fever blisters, or psoriasis, it can cause the condition to worsen. Your risk of getting infections of the skin, including cold sores, worsens. Your skin will dry out more and this will cause the upper layer of the skin to become more prone to damaged skin cells as the cells shrink and the material between cells, known as lipids, evaporate.
When you get stressed out you can begin to form bad habits that will also affect your skin. You might lick your lips nervously, and this can lead to chapped and cracked lips. You might chew on your fingernails or your lip, and this exposes you to the risks of infection as well as damaged skin. Nervous tendencies can have you scratching at yourself and damaging the skin without realizing it.
Getting rid of stress
The influence of stress on skin results in myriad complications. There have been studies conducted that reveal that if you have a life that is riddled with stress you are more likely to develop skin cancer during your lifetime. Some studies find that stress is behind what causes the rapid spread of cancer. Thankfully, we have a good idea of the influence stress has on the skin and body, and we can make every effort to counteract and prevent potential damage to the skin. Some positive methods of stress reduction including meditation, relaxation, acupuncture and acupressure. These are a few things one can do to manage stress and maintain healthy skin.