The Stress Effect – How Stress Impacts Skin Health
Yes, stress can be the reason you are seeing a decline in your overall skin health. Mild forms of stress have little impact on the body, but when you experience frequent or chronic stress your skin can be directly affected. The following are skin issues you may experience if you suffer from stress:
You notice injuries not healing quickly.
According to Dr. Kathleen Garvey, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology, “too much stress can become a burden to your immune system. It not only makes you more susceptible to skin infections, but it also delays the skin’s natural healing process.”
You can worsen pre-existing skin conditions.
If you have pre-existing skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, stress can have a double-effect on your skin. First, skin heals slower – as we mentioned above. Then, it can also trigger flare-ups of your skin condition. This happens because of the way your body copes with stress. When you suffer from consistent stress, inflammation is your body’s way of coping – same as if you suffered from an injury. When stressed, your immune system sends out chemicals that cause inflammation and help heal a wound. In people with psoriasis, the immune system over-responds— sending out too many chemicals causing a flare-up.
You may develop hives.
Stress can trigger an outbreak of hives, also known as a stress rash. Hives are raised, red-colored spots that vary in size, but can occur anywhere on your body. Stress hives can usually be treated at home using non-prescription antihistamines.
You notice more acne.
If you have noticed more acne around a stressful time of your life, know that the two go hand-in-hand. According to Dr. Garvey, “Stress throws your immune system out of its normal, healthy routine. That change in your body can cause acne-inducing bacteria and oils to flourish – worsening existing acne, and causing new acne to develop.”
While we know that you can’t avoid stress completely, try these three approaches to help promote healthy skin even during stressful times:
1. Don’t neglect your skin. Keep up with a regular skin care routine.
2. Get regular exercise – it’s known for reducing stress levels.
3. Get enough sleep – seven to eight hours per night is ideal.
If you are struggling with skin issues and don’t know where to turn, the skin health experts at Forefront Dermatology are ready to help. To find the Forefront dermatologist nearest you, visit the locations page today.