What you need to know about stress and your skin

Stress what is it good for?…. absolutely nothing

Have you ever had a pimple or a cold sore show up right before a job interview or a big date?  Or maybe “The Vid” has you breaking out in hives. As you may have already guessed stress can affect your skin, confidence and love life. The signs of stress can be physical as well as mental, and they can appear anywhere on your body.

Anywhere!

Most skin conditions are the result of chemical and hormonal changes caused by stress. These conditions include rashes, hives, styes (I’ve had two since last March), pimples and maskne. Stress causes your body to produce more cortisol, and that makes your skin oilier and prone to acne. Fun!

Normally we’d be dealing with work, home and relationship stress but now on top of our regular every day stressors we have to deal with a pandemic. Here are some tips to help reduce the impact it has on your comfort and appearance.

Try these tips for treating and preventing stress-related skin issues:

  1. Understand the interactions. Stress can be the direct cause of what’s going on with your skin. It can also slow down healing regardless of what caused your symptoms. Plus, skin troubles can cause more stress, creating an unfortunate cycle.

  2. Cleanse carefully. If dealing with stress induced acne scrubbing too hard can do more damage to your skin. Wash your face gently and be sure to products suitable for your skin type.

  3. Relieve itching. If stress has you braking out in hives or a rash make sure to resist the urge to scratch. Keeping your hands off your skin helps to prevent scarring and reduces the risk of spreading any infection. You really don’t want to be labelled a Super Spreader regardless of what you are spreading

  4. Talk with your doctor. If you are experiencing any of these things in the past year, chances are very good it’s your body’s stress response. However, if it persists for two long you may want to check with your doctor to rule out any potentially serious causes like allergies or bacterial infections.

  5. Have patience. Skin conditions often need awhile to heal fully so it is important to be patient and try not to stress. Yes, it’s a double-edged sword.

7 Tips For Preventing Stress-Related Skin Symptoms

  1. Exercise regularly. Movement is the quickest way to alleviate stress. It’s as simple as a brisk walk in the park to help you get your mind off your troubles. Plan workouts you’ll look forward to, like dance classes, running or in my case I like to punch things therefore I do Muay Thai. There are also a ton of online workouts on YouTube for all fitness levels. Try a new one every other day to keep it interesting.

  2. Get Sleep. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Try to keep a    consistent schedule so your body gets into a regular rhythm. If you are having trouble sleeping try a melatonin supplement, meditation, or a guided sleep hypnosis on YouTube. I find Rescue Remedy and a cup of warm water with Natural Calm Magnesium before bed to be a perfect combination.
  • Eat a balanced diet. You are what you eat so if you are eating to much pizza to help you get thought the pandemic your face will look like one.  Your skin needs nourishment just like the rest of your body. Avoid crash diets and too much processed food. Consume at least 7 servings of vegetable and fruits a day, along with adequate protein and healthy fats. Make sure to get your essential fatty acids and take an omega 3 supplement not only is it great for your skin but it also makes your hair Hollywood fabulous.

  • Gab with the girls. It helps to have someone you can confide in. Call a friend or organize a zoom chat with your posse when you need to vent and for support. Consider seeing a therapist, talking to your girls is great but sometimes having an outsider’s perspective helps you see things differently.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine. Yes, this is hard! For me it’s caffeine I can drink 4 cups of coffee a day on a bad day because it calms me. Sadly, alcohol and caffeine can also aggravate skin conditions. Drink in moderation or substitute water and herbal teas instead.

  • Practice relaxation techniques. You might want to start a daily meditation practice or take a warm bath when you return home from work.

  • Keep a journal. People under estimate the power of pen and paper. Writing about your feelings helps you release them, by the time you are finished getting it all down on paper you will feel that the weight has lifted.

Remember rough days at the office, pandemic news, winter and bills don’t have to take a toll on your epidermis. Protect your skin with regular maintenance, appropriate medical care, and a healthy dose of stress management.

How do you manage your stress? Please share with us we’d love to hear your tips and tricks.

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