Stress. It’s something we hear about every day. More directly, it’s something that the average American experiences more often than not. We may stress over relationship issues (at home or at work!), our job performance, the state of our company, the state of our wardrobe, and many other things. The fact of the matter is, it can be pretty darn difficult to avoid stress. Managing it, though, is necessary. Stress affects a lot of aspects of life, including our skin.
The biological response to stress, a perception of danger, is for the body to enter into a state of fight or flight. This induces an influx of cortisol, a chemical referred to as the stress hormone. This response can be good, necessary, even. But only in small doses is it really advantageous.
What Happens To Skin When We Stress?
When stress, and cortisol, become the norm, negative consequences occur on the skin like:
- Aging. Research indicates that chronic, high cortisol levels are involved in the expedited breakdown of connective tissues. This leads to premature aging such as dullness, hyperpigmentation, wrinkling, and loss of elasticity.
- Acne. You may have noticed that, when you are under a lot of stress, you develop pimples. Some people even suffer full-on breakouts when they are stressed. This is because cortisol, in high doses, sends the sebaceous glands in the skin, those responsible for oil production, into overdrive. Excess oil joins with bacteria and debris to clog pores, causing acne.
- Dermatologic conditions. When a chronic skin condition like psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea is already present, increased cortisol due to stress can instigate a flare-up.
Fighting Back Against Stress
Obviously, there are several very good reasons to practice stress management techniques. While one, in particular, may be most appealing to you, most experts recommend finding a few methods that you can turn to in times of high stress. These may include getting out for a nature walk, practicing deep breathing or meditation, and getting plenty of rest.
As it pertains to your skin, there are other ways to fight back against stress. Some of the ways we can help you pamper stressed-out skin include:
- Developing a customized skin care program.
- Medical facial services
- Customized acne treatments
- Skin-infusion treatments
Schedule A Consultation
We’re here for you. Contact our Fresno dermatology office for friendly care.