Stress Effects on the Skin

Is it a coincidence that your skin seems to go haywire at the worst possible times? Weddings, reunions, interviews, first dates, holidays, and deadlines appear to usher in the havoc. It is not by chance skin ailments flare at these choice occasions.  Nor is it caused by any cosmic force working against you.  Whether an occasion in your life is positive or negative, the special emphasis or significance attached to the event can cause stress.  Stress is not a figment of our imagination.  It is real and has physiological effects on our bodies, including our skin.  Skin problems induced by stress may include the following:

  • Psoriasis is a condition without a known cause.  Stress has been linked as a strong trigger for psoriasis.
  • Fever blisters are caused by a contagious virus, but their flare ups can be related to stress. Stress can weaken a person’s immune response, compromising his or her ability to keep the virus in check.
  • Acne is more prevalent in those with oily skin.  Stress causes your body to create cortisol, as well as other hormones, which signal the sebaceous glands to increase oil production.
  • More visible wrinkles are the result of skin that looses its resiliency and ability to hold moisture.  Because stress increases your body’s level of cortisol and other hormones, your systems are overburdened, including the skin.
  • Dry and dullness of the skin can be the result of poor cell turnover.  Maintaining high levels of cortisol due to stress can disrupt new collagen and blood vessel formation.

Of course avoiding stress is completely unavoidable.  You can try to manage it and control its effects on your skin with the following tips:

  • Share and discuss any stress inducing issues with a confidant.
  • Exercise on a regular basis. Exercise increases the production of endorphins, neurotransmitters which cause you to feel good.
  • Attempt to get a full night of sleep. Sleep allows your body to regenerate itself.  Exercising can help you get better sleep.
  • Do not allow yourself to stray from your skin care regime. While during stressful periods it is difficult to adhere to routines, do not compound or exacerbate skin problems with neglect.

Stress can affect every body system and your skin is no exception. Knowing that you are predisposed to stress induced skin ailments will help you to be proactive and prepare before times of stress occur. Utilize these tips in order to combat skin problems during the most important and significant times of your life.