Stress and anxiety are one of the most common conditions that our modern society suffers from.
Anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes, from social anxiety to work anxiety, and even the fear of being alone could cause you to be anxious. And stress is all around us and it comes from various sources, mainly work can be a huge source of stress but also you may be going through a relationship that causes you stress or even video games might cause you stress if you’re taking it too seriously.
Stress and anxiety aren’t just psychological conditions, they have physiological effects that arise when stress or anxiety happens, one of them is losing the ability to sleep but that’s not what we are here to talk about in this article, we are here to talk about the effects of stress and anxiety on your skin.
So get ready and let’s dive in to find out the exact skin conditions that anxiety and stress causes and how to deal with them.
The first skin condition on our list that gets affected by the level of stress and anxiety that you’re going through is acne.
But first, what is acne, why does it happen, and why does it get affected by stress and anxiety?
Acne is defined as the pimples and “zits” that arise in your skin, it regularly appears in your face chest and back.
Why do these pimples happen? the pimples happen because the pores in your skin get clogged by excess amounts of oil, dead skin cells, or bacteria.
Your skin has pores in it and under each pore there are follicles and for each follicle there’s hair and a sebaceous gland, the sebaceous gland is responsible for producing oil that its goal is to lubricate skin and keep it soft.
When the amount of oil produced by the sebaceous gland exceeds natural levels a pimple appears.
Also if the pore is clogged by dead skin cells or bacteria a pimple may appear.
Stress relates to acne because stress causes your body to produce stress hormones like cortisol, which tells glands in your skin to produce more oil which leads to an excessive amount of oil that clogs your skin pores and leads to acne.
Eczema is a type of inflammation that gets patches of skin and these patches become itchy, red, and rough.
What causes eczema is not exactly known, but for most types of eczema researchers believe it’s genes and external triggers are the reason behind eczema.
Eczema happens due to an over-reactive immune system that responds to external and internal triggers by producing inflammation. This produced inflammation causes red, itchy, and painful skin patches.
There’s a protein called filaggrin that’s produced by our bodies, because of genetic factors a mutation happens to the production of this gene which relates to eczema. The protein is responsible for maintaining a healthy protective barrier on the top of our skin, without this protein moisture escapes from our skin and bacteria and viruses can enter which may lead to or worsen eczema.
So how does stress relate to eczema? you may ask.
The answer is when you are stressed the signals in your body lead to producing stress hormones such as cortisol. Cortisol promotes inflammation in your body and as we’ve just mentioned eczema is an inflammation that hit some skin patches, so the inflammation gets worse when you’re stressed due to cortisol which one of its effects is promoting inflammation.