Effects of stress on your skin and how to manage it

Posted by Meerika Khanna on

Every person in the world goes through some kind of stress from time to time. However, when this becomes chronic, it impacts negatively on your health and body. Stress can lead to increasing the risk of the development of depression, cause a negative impact on the skin and cardiovascular disease. 

Stress can also end up leaving a mark on the face. It can manifest itself by causing all sorts of problems from wrinkles to even acne. Stress causes our body to release a hormone that leads to several physiological changes. Being stressed can also lead to numerous unhealthy habits such as biting your lips or grinding of teeth. Read further to know about other specific ways through which stresses causes harm to our face and skin: 

1. Bags under the eyes

This problem of getting big circles under the eyes is characterized by puffiness and swelling under the eyelids. This problem becomes quite common with age because of the supporting muscles surrounding the eyes becoming weak. Loss of elasticity leads to the sagging of skin. this in turn also leads to the appearance of eye bags. As per researchers, stress caused through sleep deprivation escalates the signs of aging - reduced elasticity, fine lines, and unbalanced pigmentation. 

2. Acne

When we feel stressed, our body escalates the production of the hormone cortisol. This causes a part of our brain to yield a hormone named corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH). CRH is found to be responsible for stimulating oil releasing from the sebaceous glands surrounding the hair follicles. The pores get clogged when the oil production is increased and this leads to acne. During a study conducted in 2007, students between the age group of 22 and 24 were examined to study the effects of stress. It was found out that a high amount of stress positively correlates with the severity of acne. 

Similarly, in a 2011 examine report it was concluded that lack of sleep, stress, and consumption of alcohol leads to severe acne and even makes it worse.

3. Dry skin

The outer layer of our skin is known as the stratum corneum. This consists of lips and protein that plays an important role in keeping our skin cells hydrated. The outer layer also plays the role of a barrier and provides protection to the skin underneath. When the stratum corneum doesn't work in the manner it should, the skin can end up becoming itchy and dry. According to a 2014 study published in Inflammation & Allergy Drug Targets, it was found out that stress can lead to slowing down the ability of our skin barrier to heal itself. 

4. Wrinkles

Stress causes the protein of our skin to undergo changes and a reduction in its elasticity. This loss in elasticity leads to the formation of wrinkles. The formation of wrinkles is also caused by the repeated furrowing of our brow due to stress. Wrinkles are a very common aging sign. Stress brings all sort of aging problems; hence wrinkles is just one of those problems caused by stress. 

5. Rashes

Stress is known to causes weakness to even the strongest of immune systems. A weakened immune system often leads to causing an imbalance in the bacteria present in our skin called dysbiosis. Redness and rashes are caused when this imbalance takes place on our skin. Stress is also responsible for triggering and aggravating numerous conditions that lead to rashes and inflamed skin. 

How to cope with stress? 

Stress varies from person to person and hence, a few of those might be unavoidable. However, finding methods to easily cope up with stress and minimize avoidable stress can enable one to manage it better. Few ways that can help you in coping up with stress are:

  1. Stay active: Exercise has been found as one of the best ways to bring down the levels of stress hormones. This also enables you to take off your mind from those stressful thoughts. 
  2. Talk to other people: Taking to anyone out of your family members, friends and a mental health expert can be very beneficial. It was said to have helped numerous individuals to deal with stress. 
  3. Avoid drugs and alcohol: Constant intake of alcohol and drugs causes several additional problems to stress and leads to several health problems as well.
  4. Maintaining a good lifestyle: Living your life on a healthy and routined note can help you and your body in the long run. Taking a healthy diet and adequate amount of sleep is very essential for your health and for your ability to manage stress. 
  5. Time to relaxing activities: Schedule a portion of your everyday time for the activities that help you relax and takes the stress off your mind. It can help to cause a very significant reduction in the amount of stress you have. 

Indeed, stress is an unavoidable part of life. Although when it becomes chronic, it leaves several skin problems on the face. Grey hair, face flushing, sore lips, tooth damage, and aging problems are just a few of the several ways through which stress shows itself.

Minimizing the avoidable stress of your life and making efforts to learning ways of dealing with stress can assist you in fighting against these problems.

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