If there’s one thing we all seem to have in common this year, it’s stress! And when you’re stressed, do you notice that your skin seems more troubled? It could be that you’re experiencing more breakouts, or maybe a condition you already have, like eczema, seems to be flaring up more than usual. It’s not your imagination: stress can definitely do a number on your skin.
Inflammation is at the root of stress-related skin issues, but they also have a lot to do with the chemicals of stress. When you’re under pressure, adrenaline, the fight or flight chemical, pumps into your system, causing racing thoughts, muscle contractions, and rapid heart rate. Cortisol jumps into the mix, too, and once this happens, your skin can take a hit. You perspire, your blood pressure rises, and your immune system can suppress itself. Reactions to cortisol include a variety of skin issues. Another chemical, norepinephrine, makes you more responsive and alert, and also carries blood to areas of your body under stress. Unfortunately, this can increase your skin woes, because as blood travels to your brain or internal organs, the blood flow to the skin can be reduced, causing flare ups. Your body’s chemical reactions aren’t all bad news for your skin, though. When you start to calm down, it releases serotonin, which calms your physical response to stress.
How you respond to stress has an impact on the skin, too. Sometimes stress causes us to engage in nervous habits like touching our faces or picking at our skin. Then, too, stress can cause us to skimp on sleep, eat unhealthily, or skip our normal skin routines. All of these factors come into play in terms of skin condition as well.
So how do you alleviate the skin problems caused by stress? Well, first, don’t stress over how stressed you are. Putting additional pressure on yourself to get stress under control can actually lead to more stress, which means more trouble with your skin. You might find it helpful, though, to be mindful of your stress, and maybe try a few stress-control measures.
- Practicing deep breathing exercises
- Sleeping at least eight hours a night
- Exercising to stimulate blood flow
- Delegating tasks and projects when necessary
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Getting help if you need it
No matter what your level of stress may be, when you need a partner in caring for your skin, Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology is committed to providing superior, professional care that’s practical, efficient, and compassionate. With over 30 years of experience providing dermatological services in Salt Lake City, we provide a variety of services, from cosmetic skincare to treatment for skin cancer. Our team of board-certified dermatologists, licensed cosmetic service providers, and friendly staff members is here to provide you the care you need in a comfortable, professional atmosphere. For more information, contact us through our website or call (801) 682-4715 today.