6 Ways Stress Affects Your Skin

by Well & Good

Have you ever noticed that when you’re really stressed out, your body tends to reflect that? When your to-do list is endlessly piling up, it’s prime time for pimples to populate your face, which leads you to stress about your blemish(es)—which can result in even more breakouts. It’s a vicious cycle.

Yet there’s science behind it. Just as stress affects your brain, it affects your body—and, even worse, can get in the way of clear skin.

Abigail Waldman, MD, a dermatologist from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, discusses the serious side effects with Allureand offers tips on preventing the skin woes that are bound to happen when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Stress can worsen preexisting conditions If you have a skin condition like psoriasis or eczema, you may have noticed that they flare up when you’re really anxious or stressed. Waldman points out that beneath your skin’s unstable mode is a burst of the hormone cortisol, which can take a toll on your immune system and wreak havoc on your previously blemish-free face.

Inadequate zzz’s can make it worse

We know sleep is a big factor in our well-being (just ask Arianna Huffington). But it turns out that not getting enough sleep can show up on your face. Waldman says that swollen eyes, dark circles, and increased signs of aging are all physical consequences of not getting sufficient sleep. Sleep is “a time when we tell patients to use medications that can also work to repair skin,” she says. Mariwalla recommends a facial moisturizer that has caffeine, which tightens the skin around your eye area if you’re having trouble clocking eight solid hours of sleep.

It can cause your hair to fall out The condition is called telegon effluvium, and occurs because your hair stops following its usual pattern of growing and falling out when you’re super-stressed. Some doctors think that if your body sees anxiety as a threat, it could possibly view growing hair as unnecessary (scary!). The good news is that your healthy hair patterns will resume in more calm times. To help prevent hair loss, Mariwalla recommends eating at least 20 grams of protein a day and consider taking prenatal vitamins.

For the six ways stress can affect your skin read the full article here.