Stress and Your Skin

Stress…this is something virtually everyone has to deal with in their life. For some, the smallest and most trivial of things can get you upset. For others, things roll right off your shoulders, but eventually there is something that sets you off. Regardless of how long things take to get you to that point, once you are there, it affects your body both inside and out.

How Does Stress Affect You?

Saying that stress is a killer is hardly exaggerating. There are some very real health conditions associated with or aggravated by stress. Here are just a few:

• Asthma – for those already suffering from asthma, stressful situations can worsen your condition or trigger an outright attack.

• Diabetes – some people deal with stress by eating. In many cases, the food being consumed is not very healthy. Glucose levels are also elevated during stressful events for type-2 diabetes patients.

• Gastrointestinal – stress will make someone suffering from ulcers absolutely miserable as well as aggravating acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome.

• Heart Disease – this is something doctors have been studying for years. Stress can lead to or aggravate numerous heart-related conditions, such as high blood pressure and cardiac problems. We have all heard or experienced the stories of someone being at work or in a very stressful situation that suddenly has a heart attack.

• Premature Aging – have you ever seen the before and after pictures of Presidents when they go into and then leave office four or eight years later? If you want to see how stress ages someone, do a Google search for any President’s before and after photos and you will be amazed.

Skin Problems Caused or Aggravated by Stress

At times, our bodies will overproduce natural chemicals and hormones to deal with a specific situation. When someone is “stressed out,” one of the hormones that goes into overdrive is cortisol. This increases blood sugar levels and affects not only your overall health, but also your appearance (this can trigger an outbreak of acne).

In addition to acne, there are numerous other skin problems associated with stress:

  • Worsening of skin conditions such as psoriasis and rosacea
  • Fever blisters
  • Hives
  • Dehydration

While we do have some skin care products to help with the external problems of stress, sufferers will still need to find ways to lessen the stress in their lives. While some will pursue therapy, there are also some things you can do on your own that may help. Physical exercise, meditation, and yoga are activities you may want to consider.


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