Stress and Acne
Stress triggers a lot of things, including weight gain, hypertension, constipation and diarrhoea. There are instances where it can cause the development of acne in adults, or worsen it. However, there is some debate over whether stress and acne can be directly and causally connected or not.
Acne plagues thousands of people, especially for those going through puberty. Teenagers get acne because of the drastic hormonal changes that come with puberty. These hormones can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. These glands can become overactive and result in acne.
It is well documented that teenagers are constantly embroiled in emotional turmoil, therefore stress-induced acne is proven true with teenagers.
This article will hopefully give you more insight on how acne and stress are connected, and some ways to prevent acne
How stress can amplify acne symptoms
When under high amounts of stress, the cells that produce sebum have receptors for stress hormones. Sebum is the oily substance that mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria to clog up the hair follicles, resulting in a pimple or a cyst. These receptors are upregulated, and more sebum is produced, allowing more acne to form, giving the stressed individual more to pick at.
Feeling frazzled can also cause people to sleep poorly, consume less healthy foods, and break away from their usual skincare routines, all of which can further promote acne breakouts.
There is also evidence that chronic stress can affect the immune system, slowed healing is one of them. If you are dealing with stress, especially for prolonged periods of time, your acne breakouts may stick around for longer and could likely result in scarring.
Stress-induced inflammation and how to treat it
In this fast-paced society, it is hard to avoid stress on the daily. But letting completely rule you can take a toll on your health. Researchers have found that stress can raise the production of cytokines, which causes inflammation. Cortisol and other stress hormones travel through your bloodstream signalling your blood vessels to dilate and your blood pressure to rise.
You may be wondering how inflammation and acne are related. Your skin is an organ, and an inflammation in the body can affect the skin. If you reduce the inflammation in the body, you can help get rid of acne. Reducing stress is one of the ways to do that since inflammation, stress and acne are closely tied to each other.
Taking foods rich in antioxidants can help, as well as taking fish oil supplements. Research has shown that the omega3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, and may lower the risk of chronic diseases such cancer, arthritis and heart diseases. Since acne is the inflammation of the pores, taking the supplement can also reduce acne.
A positive mindset can help get rid of stress and acne
Three important things to note:
- You need to believe that your acne will be cleared
- There are no quick fixes, and that it takes time and dedication to get rid of your acne completely
- Whenever you find yourself in a stressful situation, resolve it as calmly as possible.
The only way to get rid of a bad habit is to give a new one (preferably a good one). Staying positive, and surrounding yourself with positive people can really change your perspective on things. Engaging in uplifting conversations can bring about a more positive mindset, and with this, you are less susceptible to high amounts negative thoughts or stress.
Good hygiene can also prevent the development of acne
While sebum [production is a big factor in acne development, when good hygiene is practised, the dirt on the surface of your skin will have little chance of combining with the excess oils, reducing the chance of acne breakouts. To ensure this, make sure to cleanse your face twice a day with a mind,non-comedogenic cleanser or soap. Over washing is never a good idea as it only serves to irritate and dry out the skin.
Acne is most commonly found on the face and chest area. Adding a few drops of lavender essential oils to your bath. Lavender is both a stress-reliever and has properties that can prevent acne.
So, if you have acne caused by stress, there are many alternative treatments out there. However, if you do have severe acne or suffering from chronic stress, do consult a doctor for treatment.