How Does Stress Affect the Skin? Learn How To Discover and Deal With the Symptoms

Stress can have numerous impacts on body functions and affect the immune, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems. It may also have a significant impact on your appearance and the overall health of the skin. The answer to the question “How does stress affect the skin?” is simple—it releases stress hormones, which can increase the production of oil, decrease collagen production, and much more.

We’ll help you understand the relationship between stress and skin health and take the necessary steps to improve your well-being and achieve healthy, radiant skin. Keep reading to discover all the skin issues stress can cause and how to deal with or prevent undesirable symptoms.

What Are the Effects of Stress on the Skin?

When an individual experiences stress, the body undergoes a series of physiological changes controlled by the hypothalamus, which stimulates glands to release cortisol hormones. 

Other hormones released during stress are adrenaline and norepinephrine, which may cause blood vessels to constrict, leading to a loss of oxygen and blood flow to the skin.

To put it simply, stress hormones affect your skin in many ways—they can:

  • Cause hives, creating red and itchy rash on the skin.
  • Increase the production of oil, clogging pores and leading to breakouts.*
  • Cause flare-ups in those who have rosacea or psoriasis.
  • Exacerbate eczema and cause even drier and itchier skin.
  • Reduce collagen and elastin production, leading to wrinkles and fine lines.

*Because of the oil increase, stress acne usually appears on the oiliest parts of your face, such as the forehead, chin, or nose.

Stress Acne

Be Sure To Recognize the Symptoms

The most common first symptoms of stress are dark circles under the eyes, breakouts, rashes, and premature aging. Individuals with existing skin conditions may also experience a worsening of current symptoms.

Stress can also affect your scalp and cause hair loss or even alopecia, which causes hair to fall out in patches. So, suddenly thinning hair is also a potential sign you’re experiencing high emotional stress. 

Please, don’t ignore the symptoms because they won’t go away—read the following section to learn how to approach such issues.

How To Deal With Undesirable Effects of Stress 

There are many ways to tame stress, but not all of them will work for everyone. Our team singled out the top five stress management techniques that will undoubtedly help just about anyone.

Yoga as a Stress Management Technique

  1. Manage stress levels through exercise, meditation, or yoga.
  2. Identify things that trigger your stress and try to avoid them.
  3. Maintain a healthy diet and gentle skincare routine
  4. Get enough sleep to help your body recover and rejuvenate.
  5. Consult a dermatologist if the symptoms persist.

Ideally, you should implement all the listed tips, but don’t push yourself too hard—you don’t want to stress yourself out even more. Start with the one that feels the easiest, and then slowly incorporate other steps into your daily routine.

Final Thoughts

The direct answer to the question, “Does stress affect the skin?” is yes. It can significantly impact your health and lead to skin problems, and it’s crucial to minimize the unfavorable effects by managing stress levels and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

So, take a deep breath, relax, and don’t let stress take a toll on your skin. Remember to get enough sleep, eat well, exercise regularly, and pamper your skin with a soothing face mask or moisturizer every now and then. Self-care is health care!

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