Do you get the occasional pimple or dry patches from stress? Perhaps it’s because of a too long to-do list, never-ending bills, family pressures or existential fear of being in a global pandemic. But why do stress and skin have to be so inseparably linked? This is due to the way human bodies are hot-wired to respond in fight or flight circumstances. During times of intense stress, blood transmits to vital organs. And that does not include the skin. Skin blood circulation is reduced, with spikes in stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. This leads to a decrease in collagen and antioxidants production. Essentially, all the tension in your body can cause mayhem in a number of ways.
How can you identify skin conditions caused by stress and anxiety?
Let’s see how to spot that your skin is in crisis-mode.
- Acne flare-ups
Did you notice breakouts around your chin and mouth? It might be due to acne. When you experience stress or anxiety, it can release cortisol. It increases the skin’s oil production through the testosterone pathway and can increase pimples. You might be less likely to stay on top of hygiene needs when you’re feeling overwhelmed. If you’re skipping your skincare routine, eating junk food and not drinking enough water, these habits are going to affect your skin adversely.
- Eczema and psoriasis
When you’re super stressed, slight things can annoy you. And the same goes for your skin. You might experience a breakout of itching or dry patches and redness when your skin reacts poorly to soap or detergent. And the same goes for stress. Do you have a chronic skin rash, like psoriasis? Then you can have a flare-up during a period of anxiety. Psoriasis is a skin condition where too many immune cells are in the skin. And anxiety can alter your immune system through stress hormones, which could worsen the skin condition.
Tossing and turning all night long? Yeah, you might wake up looking exhausted with dark circles under eyes and dry dull skin. Beauty sleep is an actual thing. It can’t happen correctly when you’re overwhelmed with worry. In addition to getting a full night of sleep, chances are you need to be gulping down more water.
- New cuts, scar marks or scabs
When you’re anxious, you might express it physically by jiggling your leg or biting your fingernails. For others, anxiety could lead them to pick at their skin. Anxious picking is a very common condition that can be incapacitating at times. Is this something you’re struggling with? Your skin doctor will likely work with you to identify and then help cope with the stressors in your life better to reduce the desire to pick your skin.
- Bumps around your nose or mouth
Do you have scaly, pink bumps that form around your mouth or nose? You might have perioral dermatitis, inflammatory rashes which can be triggered by anxiety.
- Itchy skin
When you’re going through a period of intense stress, you might notice that your skin feels more itchy than normal. There are a number of reasons why anxiety might lead to itching and then scratching. One reason is that anxiety is a neural condition and the nerves might be hyper-sensitive to an itch signal.
When to see a doctor?
Minor rashes recover within a couple of days. You should talk with a doctor if the rash does not start to get better by this time. You should also seek medical help if the rash worsens or experience other symptoms like a fever. If a person with a rash suddenly has difficulty breathing or swallowing, he/she should consult a doctor.
Can homeopathy help treat stress?
Homeopathy can definitely help treat stress. Actually, it is an effective treatment for stress as it treats the person as a whole and not only the external symptoms. It addresses the underlying emotional and psychological issues as well that usually are seen as triggers for stress. Homeopathy recognizes the uniqueness of each individual and treats him/her accordingly.
Homeopathy considers a lot of factors like:
- The mental/emotional state of a person
- The location of the symptom
- The reaction to the stressor
- Susceptibility to stress
- Family history
All these issues are addressed and analyzed by the skin doctor. This allows to diagnose the underlying causes of stress and administer an appropriate remedy. So, what are you waiting for? Visit the nearest skin clinic when your skin shows stress symptoms.
- Take care of your skin, even if you’re exhausted or stressed.
- Get regular exercise. It’s good for your skin and the body.
- Take time for yourself to do something you like, even if you only have some time to spare. For instance, take a relaxing bath or read a book.
- Take a walk around the block.
- Practice stress management methods like breathing exercises, yoga, meditation or visual imagery.
- Get enough sleep. 7-8 hours each night is ideal.
- Talk to someone. Pursue support from a friend or an expert therapist.