There can be no doubt that this year, 2020, has been stressful for everybody. Deeply stressful. Between a global pandemic, social distanced living and wearing masks, most of us have been enduring higher than normal levels of stress and anxiety. And where does that stress ultimately show up? That’s right – on our skin in the form of breakouts and other issues. So today we’re chatting stress and acne — and other things!
HOW DOES STRESS IMPACT THE SKIN
Now, it’s all well and good to say, “stress impacts the skin.” But what does that even mean? How does it impact? What exactly happens? Today we’re going to take you through some stress and acne and skin facts that you might not be aware of.
STRESS AND SKIN FACT #1:
IT’S A CHEMICAL MATTER
Stress causes a chemical response in your body, which makes skin more sensitive and reactive. It can also make it more challenging for skin problems to heal effectively. Studies show that stress causes the body to make hormones like cortisol, which in turn tells glands in your skin to make more oil, which can result in conditions like acne. (Sidenote: Adult acne is quite common and a lot of cases can be traced back to stress being a major trigger)
STRESS AND SKIN FACT #2:
Stress can also cause flare ups of existing inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, which then creates a vicious cycle. How? Well, a flare up often incurs more stress, which then leads to itching and discomfort, which further aggravates the skin.
STRESS AND SKIN FACT #3:
MORE FLARE UPS
Stress can also trigger rosacea flareups and hives, which is uncomfortable and further increases stress among those who have it.
STRESS AND SKIN FACT #4:
IT AGES THE SKIN
As we mentioned, stress causes an increase in cortisol production, which has been shown to break down collagen and decrease synthesis of hyaluronic acid. What does this mean? It means that the skin is more likely to develop fine lines and wrinkles over time.
STRESS AND SKIN #5:
IT’S NOT HOPELESS
Did you know that psycho-dermatology is a field of study dedicated to the impact of an individual’s emotions as it relates to the skin? Studying stress and its impact on the skin is an important part of this field.
HOW CAN CONNECTED HELP
If you’re experiencing stress of any degree, CONNECTED’s virtual counseling and psychotherapy services can help support you. We believe that good health also includes good mental health. Whether facing skin and health issues, anxiety or a challenging journey, you don’t need to navigate it alone. Reach out to us today!