We all know that significant stress can have an impact on our internal health – such as the heart (blood pressure) and the stomach, but did you know that stress has been shown to make skin conditions worse?

First, a quick clarification - stress can make a pre-existing condition worse, but does not cause skin conditions except in severe cases (which usually involve psychological issues or psychiatric illness).

A 2007 study published in the Primary Care Companion in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry noted that: "The skin disease is not caused by stress but appears to be precipitated or exacerbated by stress. The proportion of patients reporting emotional triggers varies with the disease, ranging from approximately 50% (acne) to greater than 90% (rosacea, alopecia areata, neurotic excoriations, and lichen simplex) and may be 100% for patients with hyperhidrosis.”

 

Why does stress affect skin?

This is still being studied, but current research indicates that stress throws off the body’s hormonal balance which makes skin more sensitive, more easily irritated (common with eczema and rosacea) or may cause the skin to produce more oil (acne).

 

Don’t let stress take over

Make time for activities that relax you, even if your schedule seems packed and are bound to get even fuller as the holidays approach. Stress takes a toll on your whole body, so taking some time for yourself -- whether that means yoga or reading or exercise or whatever helps you to relax & release your stress – is important for your skin’s health and your overall health!

 

Interested in the psychology + skin: http://dermatologytimes.modernmedicine.com/dermatology-times/news/psychological-problems-impact-skin-disease?page=0,0

BLOG DISCLAIMER: Information on this blog is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat any skin ailment. Please make an appointment with your physician for personalized medical advice. 

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