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According to a 2009 American Psychological Association (APA) survey, 42 percent of Americans report that their stress has increased since the previous year.
When we feel stressed, our bodies ultimately don’t see our skin as important. Have you noticed people around you, or yourself for that matter, who are stressed for long periods of time often appear pale or sick? Your all-powerful mind seems to feel the need to put skin health aside to ensure the rest of your organs receive greater amounts of oxygen and nutrients. This allows your body to be able to respond quickly in any sort of situation. Stress has the same effect on your body whether it’s work stress or getting-attacked-by-a-bear stress, but the dangers come when you’re exposed to these stressful conditions for extended periods of time. Your body needs to be able to get away from whatever is causing it, but all too often, we simply don’t let it.
So what does this mean for your skin and how can you do something about it?
The outward signs of stress
When skin isn’t getting enough blood, it isn’t getting enough oxygen. All the beneficial nutrients your skin and body need are being pulled away from your skin and targeted at the more vital parts of your body. As a result, your skin can become dry, dull, and lifeless and not be able to heal effectively.
Stress also begins the increase of cortisol, the hormonal response to stress, which causes an increase in oil production in the skin that can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts.
Stress is known to have a major negative impact on existing skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. As your skin cells become dry from stress, they shrink and open up little crevices into the skin. This allows harmful bacteria to penetrate the lower layers of your skin, which can potentially cause flare-ups of these irritating skin problems.
It seems like a vicious cycle, huh? Stress causes skin problems, which in turn cause more stress. But stress can easily be controlled and with just a couple adjustments in your day-to-day life.
How to handle it
So we can’t change the effects of stress, but we can change the amount of stress we expose ourselves to.
Thank you for your interest in everything we are doing to make the lives of those around us a little better, a little clearer and a whole lot healthier.
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