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How is Stress Affecting your Skin?

Updated: Jul 13, 2021

Stress affects everyone in many different ways, but what is the effect that is has on our skin? Stress is the body's physiological response to threats or danger, and part of this response is to redirect blood flow from areas that wouldn't require it in dangerous situations, such as the digestive system, reproductive system and our skin (the body's largest organ). The body reacts in this way to get ready to confront the danger or threat it perceives - but what happens when we're in a constant state of stress? Our body doesn't perform at its optimal level in times of stress, and this is where we start to suffer from conditions such as poor digestion, breakouts and inflammation throughout the body. ​When looking at skin in particular, stress is one of the most common triggers for skin issues such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. These skin complaints all have one thing in common - inflammation within the body.

Stressors on the body can cause an imbalance of hormones, where fluctuations can result in the elevated levels of cortisol and adrenaline which are produced by the adrenal glands. When there is an excess in these stress hormones, the production of oil from the sebaceous glands increases which can lead to clogged pores and result in breakouts with acne. It can also lead to increased inflammation in tissues which can lead to the red, scaly skin seen in eczema sufferers.

How to relieve stress and your skin conditions?

It’s vital to manage your stress levels. Easier said than done, but finding techniques to manage your stress levels is something that will assist in activating the parasympathetic nervous system which will alleviate your body’s stress response. Techniques that are very effective are deep belly breathing or breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. This activates the vagus nerve which assists in managing the stress response.

As skin conditions present themselves physically in breakouts or dry, itchy skin, it can be easy to apply topical treatments to them. However, it’s vital to ensure that supporting the body is started from the inside out. This will address any underlying causes like inflammation which can assist in reducing the skin complaints sooner.

If you have skin health conditions that you need some extra assistance with, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, I’d love to help you on your journey.

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