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Keep Calm or Break Out: Skin Problems Aggravated by Stress

Have you gone through something stressful, then immediately had a breakout the next day? You’re not alone. According to experts, stress can upset your skin in a multitude of ways. The skin and the mind are intertwined, so when stress disrupts that balance, it manifests on the skin readily.

Research shows that stress can trigger preexisting skin conditions to flare up again. When you’re stressed, your skin will only get worse. Regardless of the kind of stress you’re in—emotional, environmental, physical, or psychological, the skin won’t be able to tell.

To your skin, stress is either acute or chronic. Chronic stress proves ultimately detrimental to the condition of your skin, as the longer you endure this, the worse your skin gets. Recent studies have found that chronic stress can also cause skin aging and accelerate the formation of wrinkles.

Does it sound familiar? Here are five stress-related skin problems you should look out for and know how to deal with them.

1. Acne

Woman caring of her beautiful skin on the face standing near mirror in the bathroom. Young woman applying moisturizer on her face. Smiling girl holding little jar of skin cream and applying lotion.

When you’re stressed, your body releases more cortisol than it usually does. As a side effect, it triggers the glands under your skin to increase its production of oil, making you more prone to acne breakouts. Experts advise against popping pimples, though, as that can lead to infections or scars.

Fight off breakouts with an excellent facial cleansing routine before bed, regular exercise, and at least seven to eight hours of sleep every day. For acne scars, it’s best to get an acne scar treatment in your locality to help minimize the irritation on your skin.

2. Hives

Hives are usually associated with allergic reactions; however, emerging research shows this can also be attributed to stress. Stress can cause chronic hives and can worsen an existing outbreak. When your sympathetic nervous system is on high alert, it releases histamine, which causes chronic hives.

Luckily, stress hives only last around 24 hours. To soothe the itchy welts of skin, use oral antihistamines and topical steroid creams. Avoid scratching these at any cost, as doing so releases more histamine, thus producing even more hives than you originally had.

3. Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that can worsen with stress. Stressful events can lead to a flare-up of blotched, itchy, scaly skin. When stressed, the body releases chemicals that boost its inflammatory response against psoriasis.

Control the flare-ups by managing your stress first, so your body stops triggering the psoriasis process. Studies reveal that reducing stress speeds up the improvement of your skin symptoms. Then, use retinoid creams, steroid creams, coal tar, and rich moisturizers to soothe your itchy, flaky skin.

4. Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that is primarily the result of a disruption of innate immunity. It is a series of red, itchy rashes spread out on a patch of skin. It is adversely affected by stress, as an increase in cortisol levels can irritate and inflame your skin.

Protect your skin barrier by moisturizing your skin immediately after experiencing a flare-up. You can also use prescription creams and oral medications to soothe the affected areas. Find ways to reduce your stress to avoid aggravating the skin further.

5. Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that can be triggered by stress and the environment. Studies show that this condition is worsened by inflammation, a side effect brought about by stress. Similar to eczema, stress can cause a negative feedback loop to those with rosacea, leading to more breakouts.

Experts say that this skin condition doesn’t respond to managing stress but will be appeased by topical medication. Use oral medication or prescribed topical creams to soothe the skin and control the outbreak.

Emerging research shows how stress, when endured for a long time, can cause breakouts and different kinds of less than pleasant skin conditions. Manage your stress and take care of your skin to avoid further breakouts. Get the right treatment to help minimize the irritation on your skin.

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