We all know that stress is harmful to our health, but did you know that stress can also have a major impact on your skin. The connection between skin problems and emotional triggers has inspired a new field called psychodermatology. These specialists seek to improve skin problems caused, or worsened by stress. These problems include:
• Making psoriasis or rosacea worse
• Making acne lesions more common and more inflamed
• Causing or worsening hives
• Negatively impacting fever blisters
• Worsening seborrheic dermatitis
Aside from the physical effects of stress on the skin, people who are under the influence of stress tend to neglect their diet, exercise and skin care needs. These factors worsen the effects of stress.
How this can be treated:
• Seek proper medical attention-in order for a person to make a full recovery; both problems need to be addressed. You should consult a dermatologist for the skin problems that you experience. You should also employ techniques that will help you to manage the stress that you experience in your daily life. Some techniques include: meditation, yoga, exercise, aromatherapy, and traditional therapy if desired. Employing these techniques will reduce the levels of anxiety you are feeling and will help to improve your overall mood and outlook. In turn, you will see the positive effects of these stress-relieving techniques in the appearance of your skin.
Why this works:
• According to the American Academy of Dermatology: “stress reduction can decrease the release of pro-inflammatory stress hormones and chemicals” (http://www.aad.org). They also state that reducing the levels of stress can reduce blood vessel over-activity which leads to less flushing of the skin.
• While using techniques to reduce stress can be very helpful for most people who experience these skin conditions, there are alternate treatment ideas that may be appropriate for some people. If stress or anxiety is focused on a conflict with your appearance, cosmetic interventions may be the answer to your skin problems. When you improve your outward appearance, you feel better about yourself. This new view of self can lead to improved confidence and more success at home, work or school. While this is not the correct option for everyone, cosmetic procedures may benefit some individuals who struggle with stress-related skin problems.
Treating your skin problems caused by stress involves finding a treatment that is appropriate for you and your specific needs. The first step in the recover process is consulting your physician and deciding what plan would be suitable for you.