We’ve all been there — with a seemingly endless list of responsibilities to tackle on a daily basis, from meeting work deadlines to taking care of the kids, stress seems to be an unwelcome guest in all of our lives. The truth is, stress is a human condition and everyone is bound to experience it at some point of life. Many of us think that stress is solely a mental and emotional condition, but did you know that high stress levels can also have a significant effect on your entire body, including the health of your hair, nails and skin?
Today, we dive into everything you need to know about how stress can affect your skin — from acne to psoriasis flare ups, and everything in between. Read on to find out more!
Stress & Skin Health
One of the main reasons stress can have such adverse effects on your skin health is due to the sympathetic nervous system which releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into your body during high periods of stress and anxiety. An increase of these hormones in your system may result in increased oil production in your skin glands, which can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts.
Additionally, chronic stress may also cause increased internal inflammation. When your body perceives a threat, your immune system kicks into gear to handle it – that response is what we refer to as inflammation. In normal circumstances, inflammation helps protect and heal our bodies from microbes and wounds, but a body under stress causes the immune system to overreact and send out an inflammatory response. This often leads to a flare up in conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea and other common skin conditions.
How Stress Affects Your Skin
As mentioned above, an increase in certain hormones and inflammation during periods of stress can cause a variety of skin issues, including:
- Acne Breakouts as a result of increased cortisol and adrenaline;
- Rashes, Hives and Redness
- An exacerbation of existing inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea, leading to flare ups.
- An increase in nervous behaviour resulting in individuals picking at scabs or acne, or scratching skin until it becomes red or breaks.
All in all, the answer to questions such as ‘can stress cause skin irritation?’ or ‘can stress cause skin problems?’ is a resounding yes. This is why taking active measures to reduce your daily stress levels is key to not just healthy skin, but also a healthy mind and body.
Tips to Keep Your Skin (and Your Mind) Stress-Free
Thankfully, there are many simple tips and lifestyle changes that you can implement today to reduce your overall stress levels and improve your wellbeing. Some of these tips include:
Stay Active — Virtually any form of physical activity can act as a stress reliever. Even if you’re not an athlete or the biggest fan of going to the gym, simple exercises such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, dancing or even house cleaning can still be fantastic stress relievers. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding a physical activity that you enjoy doing and ideally, one that doesn’t even feel like exercise in the first place!
Practise Meditation & Relaxation Techniques — Practising meditation and relaxation techniques can help to produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of endless thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. You can find simple meditation exercises online, including guided meditation podcasts, videos and more on platforms such as Youtube and Spotify. Even if you are pressed for time, as little as 15 minutes a day can be incredibly beneficial in reducing stress levels and anxiety.
Get Enough Sleep —- In today’s demanding world, it can seem almost impossible to get proper sleep on a daily basis. As you probably already know, sleep plays an integral role in your health and wellbeing. Sleep gives your body the time it needs to rest and heal, and good sleep improves your mood, energy levels, and cognition. Try to get at least 8 hours of rest each night, and be sure to eliminate distractions such as your phone, television, computer and more.
Maintain A Good Skincare Routine — Unbeknownst to many, maintaining a good skincare routine at the beginning and end of every day is one of the best ways to keep stress levels at bay. As you focus on your skin, you are also able to better stabilise your breathing. This causes the parasympathetic nervous system to kick in, which helps relieve stress. Be sure to elevate your skincare experience by only using products with clean, non-toxic ingredients.
Talk To A Professional — If you feel like stress is getting the best of you, one of the most effective and helpful actions you can take is to speak to a professional. By enlisting the help of an experienced counsellor, therapist or psychologist, you will be better able to identify the sources of your stress and learn new coping tools.
Want more tips? Learn more about how you can reduce your stress levels for a healthier life in this article.
Best Treatments For Stress-Related Skin Conditions
If you are currently suffering from any form of stress-related skin condition, fret not. At Victorian Cosmetic Dermal Clinics, we offer a variety of different cosmetic laser and skin treatments, featuring unparalleled service, innovative treatment options, and affordable pricing.
Some of our most popular treatments for stress-induced skin conditions include:
Lira Clinical peels are a safe, yet extremely effective treatment for stress-induced acne. Because Chemical Peels use an enzymatic form of exfoliation, rather than scrubbing or granules, it is able to digest and remove the lesion without spreading acne bacteria.
Chemical peels target bacteria and lift away impurities which lead to the formation of congestion and breakouts. Lira Clinical Peels contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), perfect for decongesting pores, clearing blemishes and resurfacing the skin’s texture. Regular Chemical peels can also aid in-regulating sebum / oil production, increasing cellular turnover, fighting p.acne bacteria and managing and healing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
LED light therapy is an ideal treatment for acne, psoriasis and rosacea with an optimal treatment plan including a synergistic combination of blue light and red light therapy. Blue light works to stimulate porphyrins (compounds found in acne-causing bacteria) which then generates a controlled amount of free radicals which work to destroy acne bacteria. Red light triggers an immune response in the skin that helps to regenerate cells and help with skin healing.
For best results we recommend a course of 9 treatments – every 48 hours, 3 times per week. LED treatment can also be used alongside microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser facials to enhance, accelerate and intensify results.
How We Can Help
Want to know more about the treatment options available to treat stress-related skin conditions? Simply head to our contact page or call us today to book a consultation with Victorian Cosmetic Dermal Clinic’s highly trained and experienced skin therapists. During your appointment, your skin type, skin condition and history will be examined in detail to enable us to recommend the perfect treatment tailored to your individual needs and lifestyle.