The effects of stress on your physical health are well-documented, and this includes the condition of your skin. Experts believe that stress may cause outbreaks and aggravate illnesses like eczema and psoriasis; this is just one way that your internal state can manifest externally.
The state of your skin may be greatly affected by how you’re feeling emotionally and mentally. Here are five ways in which your mental state might be reflected in your skin.
Conditions of the skin may become more difficult to manage under stress.
The stress hormone cortisol is released in a “fight or flight” reaction when we are anxious. While there are some beneficial benefits of cortisol (such as increased alertness during the day), there are also many negative consequences.
Wounds don’t heal as well, and inflammatory skin diseases get worse.
In response to potential danger, the brain boosts the synthesis of a hormone called CRH, which signals the adrenal glands to release more cortisol.
Corticotropin-releasing hormone is what CRH refers to, according to previous studies. The additional oil our oil glands produce as a result of CRH’s binding to them might cause breakouts.
Example: a tiny study indicated that stress was strongly linked to worsening acne. Stress was also shown to be associated with acne severity in a 2017 research of female medical students in their twenties, published in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology.
Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is a skin condition characterised by dryness, itchiness, and heightened sensitivity. Eczema flare-ups are frequent, and they’re often brought on by stress and worry (which, as the group points out, can bring on additional worry and stress).
Just what is going on here? Adrenaline and cortisol, chemicals released by the body in reaction to stress, can lead to inflammation and immunological suppression.
Every everyone experiences stress at some point in their lives. It’s important to remember that the aim isn’t to completely rid oneself of stress, but rather to find healthy methods to deal with it.
Rosacea, a common skin disorder marked by redness and inflammatory lesions on the face, can also be triggered by emotional or mental strain. Blushing and flushing may be caused by the nervous system’s production of inflammatory and vasodilatory peptides in reaction to stress. Two-thirds of respondents to an earlier poll reported that stress management (altering one’s response to stress) was helpful in minimising symptom flares.
Psoriasis, itching, and hives are only some of the skin problems that can be made worse by stress, as stated by the American Psychological Association (APA). Listed below are the reasons why.
- Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder (in which an overactive immune system leads the body to erroneously attack its own tissue), and stress is a known trigger for this illness.
- One can trigger the other through the same neural connections that connect stress, anxiety, and itching.
- Some people develop hives when their bodies go into a “fight or flight” response state, as a result of stress.
Skin-Picking Is Often a Symptom of Anxiety
As a means of relieving stress, skin picking is a common behaviour. OCD is linked to the repeated, body-focused behaviour known as chronic skin-picking.
Genetics, changes in brain structure associated with habit formation, stress, and anxiety all contribute to the development of this mental disease. Antidepressant medication, such as an SSRI, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are used in treatment.
Acne excoriée is made worse by stress and worry, according to studies, and it can even leave scars in extreme cases. Scarring isn’t the only negative consequence of picking at one’s skin; it may also lead to infection and a vicious cycle of humiliation and self-consciousness.
Anxiety may be controlled by practising healthy habits like regular exercise and being present in the moment. Feeling anxious from time to time is entirely normal. But if it persists and worsens to the point that it disrupts your everyday life, medical attention should be sought.