You may have noticed that whenever you have additional stress in your life, your acne flairs up. I know I do. Whether it is lack of sleep, emotional upheaval, or just extra pressure from work, there is no doubt that I’ve seen a direct relationship between my level of stress and acne. Does your own acne flair up after an emotional upset? For many years, dermatologists have been asked the question by their patients, “Can stress cause acne?” I spent a little time researching this topic and found some interesting correlations.
Yes, it is true that heredity can play a role in your acne. However, many physicians now realize this troubling condition can also be related to other factors such as stress or a poor diet.
The fact that stress can have a negative impact on your immune system is not a new concept. No matter what type of illness you suffer from, a great deal of stress can either worsen your condition or increase the amount of time it takes your body to heal and recover. I have definitely noticed that I am more susceptible to colds when I’m under a lot of stress.
Why is it that stress has this effect on our bodies? When people experience stress or emotional turmoil, the body often reacts by producing an overabundant amount of hormones. Male hormones especially have a great impact on the sebaceous gland. If the gland becomes overactive, the body then produces too much sebrum. After the pores become clogged with sebrum, acne is very likely to occur.
In addition to aggravating current acne breakouts, stress can also cause an overall decline in the appearance of your skin. Aside from increased sebum production, unhealthy amounts of stress may cause the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. The cortisol is then released into the sebaceous gland and produces a greater amount of oil in the skin.
Even if you’re currently taking a prescription or over the counter treatment for acne, your stress level will have a negative impact on your skin. By following some of these tips for reducing stress, you can help combat acne. Use these tips to relax and not only will your breakouts likely improve, but you can also achieve better overall health and wellness.
- I’ve found that exercise can alleviate my excess tension and anxiety more than anything else. You may not feel like exercising when your’e stressed, but if you can get yourself up and moving it will make a huge difference. Whether it is a run, walk, workout, or yoga class, anything that has you focusing on your body more than your mind will help you calm down and see more clearly.
- Too much caffeine can often increase your level of stress. By reducing your intake of sodas, coffee, tea, and other stimulants, you can both calm your body and prevent other common negative side effects, such as headaches or an increase in heart rate.
- Improve and monitor your diet. Try to eat as many healthy and natural foods as possible. A diet containing the proper amount of fruits and vegetables can have a huge positive impact on your health. I have a huge craving for sugar and chocolate when I’m stressed or depressed, and I know that has an effect on both my skin and my general level of optimism and energy level. High amounts of sugar and processed foods on a daily basis can lead to stress and other behavioral problems, especially in younger people and teens. By changing your eating habits, you can improve your acne and many other common ailments.
- Get out in the sun! Try to get outdoors on a daily basis. Just a small amount of time outside each day can have a positive affect on your body. Sunshine exposure is responsible for stimulating the production of Vitamin D which promotes healthy skin. A short walk several times a week is all that is needed. Vitamin D supplement will not have the same effect as getting outside for some real sunlight.
Even if you try just one of these tips, it should make a difference in your physical and mental health, energy level, and the appearance of your skin. Reduce your stress and acne will be much less common an occurence for you. As for me? I’m heading over to the gym now for a good workout and then a nice hot shower!
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Now go relax!!!