Many different things can have a negative impact on your skin’s overall health and wellness. Things like environment and diet can affect your skin’s health, but also stress, anxiety, and depression can have effects as well.
Being stressed out can lead to skin issues and can worsen symptoms of some skin conditions. Read on to learn how stress affects your skin and what conditions it can impact.
How Stress Can Affect Your Skin
Being stressed out can affect the way your skin feels and looks. The sympathetic nerve system releases cortisol. Cortisol can lead to increased oil production, which can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts.
There are several skin conditions that are aggravated by high levels of stress. Stress can cause hormonal changes in the skin that make some conditions worse.
Skin Conditions That are Made Worse by Stress
- Acne– Stress can make acne worse. Studies have shown that those with acne can experience worsening symptoms when feeling stressed.
- Eczema– A common skin disease that causes itchy, dryness, and redness, known to flare up from high levels of stress. Some symptoms include bleeding and discolored skin.
- Psoriasis– A skin disease that causes red, itchy, dry patches. Stress is Known to cause psoriasis flare-ups and make symptoms worse.
- Vitiligo– People who have vitiligo can experience a progression of the condition due to stress. High levels of stress are thought to be a trigger for the onset of the condition.
- Hives– Hives are a common skin condition that appears as a rash of red bumps. Hives can be caused by and made worse by, high levels of stress.
- Rosacea– This is a skin condition where the face appears red on the cheeks and nose. Stress and anxiety cause rosacea flare-ups.
- Ichthyosis– A skin condition that causes the skin to be dry and scaly. Stress can cause symptoms of ichthyosis to worsen.
What you can do to Lessen the Impact of Stress on Your Skin
Stress can have a negative impact on the health of your skin. Some of the best ways to mitigate the effects of stress on your skin are:
- Exercise regularly. Getting enough exercise is a great way to keep your mind, body, and skin healthy. Exercise causes a release of endorphins, which are known to relieve stress. Regular exercise is a way to reduce stress, which in turn helps keep your skin healthy.
- Practice Mindfulness/Meditation. Practicing mindfulness or meditation can help you reduce the stress you feel in your day-to-day life. By spending just a few minutes per day doing mindfulness exercises or meditating, you can learn to focus your thoughts and manage intrusive thoughts that may be causing you stress.
- Get Enough Sleep. High levels of cortisol increase unwanted symptoms in the body, including your skin. Make sure you are getting enough sleep at night. Getting enough sleep helps keep cortisol levels in check, and helps your mind, body, and skin feel better. The average adult needs about 7 hours of sleep per night. So, get to bed early and reap the benefits of a rested body.
- Enforce Healthy Boundaries. Sometimes you can stretch yourself thin doing too much for others. Consider setting some boundaries with others. Gently let friends and family know that you can’t do this activity as often, or that you need an evening to rest instead of hanging out. If they are resistant, enforce your boundary. Doing so will help reduce the amount of stress you are feeling in your life, and you will physically feel better over time.
- Practice Good Basic Skincare. Establishing a basic skincare routine will go a long way to helping reduce the effects of stress on your skin. Use a gentle cleanser and good-quality moisturizer both morning and night. Use sunscreen every day. It can be challenging to be consistent when dealing with high levels of stress, anxiety, or depression. However, it is one of the best ways to help reduce the damage from stress on your skin. Push yourself to do your skincare routine even if you don’t feel like it.