The Best Ingredients for Red Bumps Post Waxing
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While stress may not be the root cause of medical acne, it can definitely trigger breakouts, inflammation, rashes and facial acne.1Is there a link between stress and acne?, Louisa Richards, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/does-stress-cause-acne We all go through difficult or stressful times and sometimes pressure is unavoidable. Let’s take a look at how stress affects your body and your skin.
Stress may not directly cause acne, but when your body is under stress then wounds tend to heal slower. The result is that pimples or breakouts may linger for longer and that the breakout may increase in severity. When our bodies are stressed or under pressure, stress hormones are released. These are most commonly cortisol and androgens. Cortisol is a kind of ‘steroid’ hormone and is known as your body’s natural ‘alarm’ system. When cortisol is released, it gives you energy kind of like adrenaline which may feel like anxiety. Cortisol will affect your sleep pattern, too – making it more difficult to fall asleep. Cortisol also causes increased oil production in your skin glands which can lead to skin breakouts due to clogged pores. 2The association between stress and acne among female medical students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Shadi Zari & Dana Alrahmani, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5722010/
Anxiety, fear or stress can worsen or cause breakouts by triggering the production of Cytokines. These are small proteins that control the activity of blood cells.3The association between stress and acne among female medical students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Shadi Zari & Dana Alrahmani, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5722010/ If they are overproduced (by stress) then your skin could suffer inflammation in the area around your oil (sebaceous) glands. This inflammation will also worsen the appearance of breakouts, pimples and acne.
When we’re stressed, we tend to eat for comfort and you might find yourself reaching for a sugary or cheesy treat instead of a healthy meal. Sugar also ‘feeds’ inflammation,4Does sugar cause inflammation in the body?, Jessica Caporuscio, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326386 so it’s a good idea to avoid sugar, processed foods and unhealthy carbs when you’re feeling anxious or under pressure. Also remember to drink lots (and lots) of water when you’re feeling stressed as your body needs extra hydration5Water and Stress Reduction: Sipping Stress Away, Gina Shaw, https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/water-stress-reduction and nutrients to combat your body’s natural “fight or flight’ response and to get your body’s hormone and protein levels back to normal.
When trying to manage your stress levels, it’s important to address the root cause of your anxiety. Some stressful situations are beyond our control (such as a loss in the family or loss of income) but most anxiety can still be managed. These are the most proven ways to help alleviate your stress and anxiety6Managing Stress, National Alliance on Mental Illness, https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Individuals-with-Mental-Illness/Taking-Care-of-Your-Body/Managing-Stress
Also read: Is Stress Making your Rosacea Worse
Spot treatments and products developed for acne can assist in minimising breakouts and the aftereffects, however not dealing with the root cause of your breakouts will mean that your acne may come straight back. Speaking from personal experience, I have tried a combination of antibiotics and topical treatment. My acne cleared up in a matter of months, however as soon as the antibiotics had left my system my acne came straight back.
If you are still struggling with stress and anxiety it is always a good idea to speak to a medical professional or a counsellor about establishing the cause of your anxiety and possibly using medication to assist you where needed. Your doctor or nurse may also recommend that you have a health check-up done to check that there are no underlying issues that could be aggravating or causing unnecessary stress.
Wishing you clear skin and clear minds!