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Can Stress Affect Your Skin in Negative Ways?

Posted April 2019 by Biodermis
With the fast-paced life that many in the United States and around the world now live, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed out. Stress can enter our lives at any moment, so it’s important to take things slow and think things out in a calm, relaxed manner. Stress affects our health in many ways, and it can cause us to develop unhealthy habits that are bad for our well-being and the well-being of those close to us. One aspect of stress that often gets overlooked is how it can negatively impact our skin health. We can often tell when someone is stressed out and it reveals itself in his or her physical appearance.

Continue reading to learn more about how stress can impact our skin health and what we can do to curb its effects.

Stress on skin

What do we know about stress in relation to the skin?

Cortisol is a stress hormone that plays a significant role in regulating our mood, behaviors, and fear response. However, cortisol also has a role to play in our skin, which contains receptors that absorb the stress hormone. Some cortisol in moderation is important for regulating many vital biological functions. But when we become stressed, cortisol is released from our adrenal glands in greater amounts. When this happens, glands in our skin produce sebum (oil) that can clog our pores and lead to acne breakouts. If the acne is serious enough, it can lead to scarring down the road.

Cortisol is also believed to accelerate the aging process, which can have obvious effects on the skin. Fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven pigmentation naturally occur as we age. But if too much stress is present in our life, we may find ourselves with these problems earlier than anticipated. Skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, eczema, and others can become exacerbated by high cortisol spikes in the body. If you suffer from any of these skin issues, you are only making them worse by too much stress.

Stress doesn’t just influence biological factors that lead to poor skin health, stress can also lead to unhealthy behaviors and habits that take a toll on our skin over time. When we are stressed, we often run to quick sources of relief that have negative impacts on our body. Some of these habits might include smoking, eating junk food, not getting enough exercise, and losing out on sleep. Eating loads of sugar and fatty, processed foods, for instance, are not a good source of nutrients for the skin and can cause acne breakouts. Smoking, on the other hand, stymies blood flow in the body, leading to a decreased wound-repair response and dried out skin. In addition, inadequate amounts of sleep can lead to baggy undereye circles, leading you to look worn-out and tired all the time. None of these habits are healthy for your body in general and they cannot be recommended if you wish to sustain healthy, vibrant skin.

What should you do?
The short answer is to stop stressing out so much, but that’s easier said than done. The first step is to stop reacting to your stress in unhealthy ways. Start looking up healthy recipes, try to get a good amount of exercise every day, and try to fit some more “me-time” into your hectic schedule. Having a regular skin-care regimen with clinically-proven products can also help to exfoliate the skin and induce proper dermal hydration. Make sure you go to bed at the same time every day and stick to a routine that works for you. Limit yourself to eating fast food only once or twice a month and restrict your sugar intake. Substitute chocolate, soda, and other sugary foods for fruit and vegetables. These things aren’t difficult to do, but it may seem overwhelming when you take them all on at once. Start by changing the small things in your life and work your way up to more drastic changes. Your skin will thank you in the end.

Biodermis is an innovative market leader with 30 years of expertise in the medical silicone industry. Visit Biodermis.com today to explore a complete range of scar management and post-operative care solutions.
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