How Does Stress Trigger Skin Conditions
There is no escaping stress and the stress marks that reflect on the face. But an aesthetic specialist can come to your rescue to fight the stress marks.
Let’s face it! In today’s day and age, there is no escaping stress. With the responsibilities we carry, stress levels are bound to skyrocket. At such times, the last thing on our mind is our skin health, which gloomily, is the most susceptible to stress.
Can mental stress affect our skin?
You might think that stress is something that only the brain experiences. But our mind and skin are connected in different ways. When in stress, our brain secretes a stress hormone called cortisol that adversely affects our skin and is responsible for overall poor skin health.
What are the possible outcomes of stress on our skin?
When triggered by stress, our skin reacts in many different ways. Some of the common outcomes of stress include:
- Burning or Itching Skin: As a response to stress, our body puts our nervous system on high alert. This readiness for emergencies can overstimulate our sensory nerves. This leads to a burning or itching sensation throughout our body.
- Acne: When cortisol is released as a response to stress, it signals glands in the skin to make more oil. This then results in clogged pores and acne.
- Hives and Red Bumps: Stress rashes or Hives appear as a rash or as red bumps on any part of the body. When in stress, the body experiences a number of hormonal or chemical changes. These changes trigger blood vessels to expand and leak causing red and swollen patches on the skin.
- Flaking on Scalp: Stress is known to trigger androgens (male hormones) in our body. These result in our scalp becoming oiler. This oil encourages an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus which helps develop excessive dandruff.
- Delayed Wound Healing: Stress is known to delay wound healing in humans as it produces glucocorticoid which is known to hinder the process of healing.
- Fine Lines and Wrinkles: Especially frown and forehead lines get accelerated with excess stress as high amounts of cortisol can break down the skin's collagen and elastin.
- Under-Eye Bags and Dark Circles: When in stress, blood flows to other parts of the body barring the face. This causes the blood vessels underneath the eye to become more apparent thus giving birth to dark circles.
Addressing skin problems
The stresses in our lives won’t disappear, but with the right guidance and care, these skin problems can definitely be reduced.
- Photo Facials: These cause stimulation of collagen production and blood vessel constriction with the help of intense pulses of light that penetrate deep into the skin. This half-an-hour procedure helps reduce fine lines, wrinkles and redness of the skin.
- Chemical Peels: These peels help remove damaged skin cells and bring forth healthy cells on the surface of the skin. There are different types of peels that can be used for different skin types such as light, medium and deep.
- Retinol Creams or Derma Fillers: To cure under eye bags, your dermatologist might suggest retinol creams that improve collagen production to give skin a firmer, more plump appearance. In some cases, dermal fillers might work better as they replace the lost fat underneath your eyes.
Apart from these solutions, at home too, certain routines should be followed to reduce stress and keep skin healthy.
- Have a skin care routine that you can stick to: Keep a simple skin care routine intact. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, apply moisturizer and sunscreen to keep the skin protected at all times.
- Use stress management activities: Exercise regularly, do deep breathing, meditate.
- Watch what you eat: Skip the alcohol, avoid nicotine, sweets and refined complex carbohydrates, highly processed food.
- Have a healthy sleep pattern: Try to get seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Unplug from devices before you go to bed.
- Drink water: Good water intake will keep your body free from toxins and skin hydrated too.