Effects of Stress on Your Skin
The human body is made up of different parts that must work together in order to provide us with the energy and the thinking mind we need in our daily lives. When stress is applied to one of the parts, the entire body is also affected.
Any stress which can be dealt with, or even which mildly over-reaches the usual capacity of the affected part is usually beneficial and induces growth. However, demanding or persistent stress can be overwhelming and damaging. This is why different people may perceive stress as something that is a very annoying or even destructive part of everyday life, while others see it as something that urges them to achieve more.
The damaging effects of either extreme acute stress or chronic stress can manifest in many different ways. One of the more obvious and visible signs can be the effects on our skin. Stress can be a real beauty saboteur.
Stress deprives the skin of nourishment
Stress can make it very difficult for a person to get a good night’s sleep. Many of those who are battling with chronic stress have disturbed or incomplete sleep patterns. Most people know that sleep is essential for the body to repair and heal itself.
It is during sleep that the process of removing dead cells in the blood and in the brain largely occurs. This removal of dead cells is crucial for the process of replacing these old cells with new ones. With sufficient sleep each night, the body is capable of shuttling out 60 per cent more toxins than when sleep-deprived.
If stress repeatedly robs you of sufficient sleep at night, your skin health will very likely suffer. The resulting signs can be both sensory and visual.
Stress increases oil production
Stress causes an increase in the production of the hormone cortisol. Research indicates that even those who are not prone to acne may find themselves suffering from stress-related acne, due to oily skin caused by this excessive production of cortisol. This will then increase the incidence of acne and other related skin problems.
Stress dehydrates the skin
Stress triggers the production of hormones that will lead to the redirecting of blood away from the skin. This deprivation of blood subsequently means deprivation of oxygen and other nutrients needed by the skin. This will lead over time to a loss of that healthy glow and an increase in the appearance of wrinkles.
Ongoing stress will therefore have a drying effect on the skin. This fluid deficiency adversely impacts the barrier function of the skin. The dehydration of skin can further inhibit its ability to repair itself. This will then make the person’s skin prone to dullness, acne, hyperpigmentation and inflammation.
According to dermatologist Howard Murad, stress leads to the thinning of the cell layers found on the surface of the skin. This thinning of cell layers can then develop into microscopic holes that allow water to leak from the cells. This occurrence reduces the ability of the skin to protect itself from the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays. This will result in skin that lacks luster with fine lines becoming more apparent.
How one’s emotions affect the skin is now being studied in a field of study called psychodermatology. Experts believe that a person’s mind and skin are connected in more ways than one. This further supports the understanding that our state of mind has on the health and appearance of our skin.
Whereas topical applications of skin creams and other products attempt to be a cure, prevention begins with reducing the stress that causes the physical symptoms to appear. To improve the condition and appearance of your skin and to delay some of the effects often attributed to aging, take steps to eliminate stressors or learn how to better deal with them.
If your skin is displaying signs related to stress, you can be certain that many more problems exist ‘beneath the surface’. Your skin is warning you to take action.