How Stress Affects Your Skin

Stress, as you might know, is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. It could also be defined as a state of psychological and physiological imbalance resulting from the disparity between situational demand and the individual’s ability and motivation to meet those needs.An example of stress is the pressure to finish three large projects by the end of the day.

It can take a toll on the human body and these are some of its effects;

You heal more slowly

Your body responds well to a bit of stress because it keeps you mentally sharp and focused. However, more stress than you can handle can negatively affect your immune system. Your immune system is responsible for how fast and well you heal, therefore when it is weighed down you will be more susceptible to skin infections like cold sores. A study analyzing the skin of medical students during and exams and after vacation researchers found that wound healing was significantly delayed during finals.

Your skin gets dry and flaky

Abnormally high levels of anxiety can deplete your skin’s natural moisture reserves as it suppresses hyaluronic acid production, which causes dryness and dullness. It can also exacerbate conditions like eczema. If you already have sensitive skin, this increased water loss over time can also make your skin more prone to having a red, chapped appearance. Applying super-emollient creams with hyaluronic acid and ceramides can help offset the effects.

Your face shape may change

The hormone cortisol is released as a response to stress and is the natural enemy of collagen. It breaks down the connective tissue that keeps your complexion taut and firm. When we are stressed we tend to hold facial expressions that can cause permanent wrinkling on the forehead and around the eyes, such as furrowing the brow.

Your acne lingers

Cortisol can stimulate pore-clogging oil production as well as trigger inflammatory acne, which looks like deep tender bumps along the lower part of the face. It can also make existing acne even worse. The microbiome which is the internal ecosystem of bacteria most of which lives in one’s gut is the reason for this problem. When you are stressed the microbiome is disrupted and this can have far-ranging effects. The disruption causes the system to be thrown off and acne bacteria may be more likely to flourish and worsen the effects. Your dermatologist would be able to give you the best treatment options which might involve relaxing techniques.