The world has been a stressful place for quite some time. The effect of that stress can impact us in many different ways. You might be surprised to know that your stress could be affecting your skin. If you’ve noticed some changes to your skin, it may be worth checking in with your stress levels to see if it might be having an impact.
Stress can have an impact not only on our mental health but our physical health as well. But, headaches and stomach aches aren’t the only way stress can affect our bodies. Scientists have established that there is a link between psychological stress and worsening of skin conditions.
When your experience stress, your body releases a potent mix of chemicals. The longer you’re feeling stressed, the more these hormones circulate and the larger their effects. When it comes to your skin, this is a problem in two ways.
Firstly the fight or flight response that these hormones trigger can lead to increased sweating. Secondly, these hormones can cause inflammation in various areas of the body, which often results in weakened blood flow to your skin.
These combined effects can lead to a range of symptoms, impacting your skin and how you feel.
Keeping an eye on your skin for any sudden changes is always a good idea. If you spot any of these signs, it could indicate that your stress levels are too high.
Acne flare-ups are a very common sign of stress. The extra sweat that may be sitting on your skin when you feel especially stressed can clog your pores. The extra moisture can also be a haven for bacteria. The combination of these two effects is that you might be having more acne flare-ups than normal. If you regularly get flare-ups, they may be noticeably worse than normal.
Changes to your immune system can bring on hives and rashes. Stress is well known to have an impact on immune function. The inflammation caused by stress can also lead to reduced blood flow near the surface of your skin. When you combine these effects, they can easily lead to rashes and hives. You may find that these are transient, and they only pop up when your stress levels are especially high. If that’s the case, you may find that taking some time out may be all it takes to help them fade.
Rosacea flare-ups are a well-known symptom of stress. People who normally have the condition under control can quickly find that an increase in stress can throw everything out of whack. The challenge is not letting the flare-up become a new source of stress.
Skin irritation linked to stress is often a result of higher sweat levels. If you find that your stressful workday leaves you a little more sweaty than usual, this can easily lead to irritation. Taking time to wash and dry your skin when you notice you’re sweaty can really help to reduce this issue.
The imbalance of hormones caused by stress can result in dryer skin for some people. This can be due to the reduced blood flow to your skin. Staying hydrated can help with this a bit, but finding ways to reduce your stress should be at the top of your list if this is an issue you have.
When stress leads to your blood being pulled away to sources of inflammation, your skin can lose its usual sheen. When you’re stressed, it affects all the organs in your body; your skin simply happens to be the easiest place to see its effects. If you look in the mirror and your skin isn’t looking as good as usual, it could signify that you’re carrying too much stress.
When stress reaches the level of affecting your immune system, it will also affect skin conditions that are caused by your immune system. Worsening psoriasis or more frequent eczema flare-ups often go hand in hand with bouts of stress.
Long term stress can accelerate many of the common effects of ageing. Living with high levels of stress can end up making you look older than your years. One of the earliest signs of this is the increased appearance of wrinkles. If you don’t take steps to deal with your stressed skin, it can often lose some of its elasticity, resulting in sagging skin, especially in areas like the neck and chin.
If you have spotted the signs of stressed skin, you don’t have to be resigned to its effects. In fact, there are several things you can do about it. Here are some top tips on what to do to help your stressed-out skin.
While it is easier said than done, it’s important to try and find ways to manage your stress. What works is different for everyone. It could be working out, taking a long bath, relaxing with a movie, or taking a long walk in nature. Whatever works for you, plan it into your life.
Some foods are linked with breakouts. If you suffer from acne, you may know your trigger foods already, so it might mean you need to be extra vigilant. Limiting sugar and dairy in your diet can often help.
Whenever you notice that you’re feeling stressed, drinking water is crucial. This not only keeps you well hydrated but also acts as a circuit breaker from the source of your stress.
If your skin is showing signs of stress, you don’t have to let it be another source of stress. It’s best to avoid trying too many new products, further stressing your skin out, but treatments can be a potential option. At Hans Place, we offer careful skincare consultations where we can create a bespoke skincare program to suit your specific skin needs. To book your consultation, get in touch with our team.