Stress Related Acne

acne related stressIs your lifestyle causing your acne? “No way”, you might say, but the way you live affects your whole body, including its largest organ: the skin. You may be suffering from stress related acne. Where you are employed, the hours you keep, the way you find recreation; all of these can take a toll on the skin, especially in those who are acne prone. Here are some everyday acne triggers you want to know about, and a few things you can do to avoid them.

Comedones (blackheads) on the job

Because some part of your skin is always in contact with your surroundings, it’s important to pay attention to the things you come in contact with regularly. You may be exposed to comedogenic (pore-clogging) substances on the job without even knowing it; while these substances are not the cause of your acne, they can aggravate it. For example: the airborne grease in a fast-food restaurant can create an invisible film on your skin, clogging your pores. Most industrial oils: the kinds used in cars, factories and bicycles are comedogenic as well.

Acne and sleep

One of the simplest ways you can do your skin well may surprise you: sleep! Researchers and mothers around the globe agree that a good night’s sleep of at least eight hours can do wonders for your complexion. How? A healthy, well-rested body has the building blocks for a strong immune system. While a strong immune system won’t prevent acne 100%, it will help fight the infection making your lesions heal faster. Fortunately, your body isn’t picky; uninterrupted sleep during the daytime is just as beneficial. So if you work late, then you should sleep late and try to stay on a regular schedule.

Sun and Acne

While it’s true that small amounts of sun exposure may appear to improve acne, don’t be fooled; the benefit is temporary and is really just hiding the inconsistencies in the color of the skin. Consistent sun exposure will cause your skin to become dry, causing your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. It is also true that skin that is consistently exposed to the sun has to slough off more old cells and more frequently; when you combine the extra oil and extra dead cells, you create a conditions that are ideal for comedones (black heads), or blocked pores to form. So if you work (or play) in the sun, it’s important to protect your skin with sunscreen. Find oil-free sunscreens that provide a SPF 15 protection level from UVA and UVB rays.

Stress and Acne

The stress and acne relationship is one that you need to pay attention to. Proven by researchers, stress often plays a large part in the acne drama. Ninety percent of most dermatologists’ patients complain about the effect stress has on their skin. It does have a large impact, and it’s becoming a bigger problem every day, says Katie Rodan, MD, a clinical professor of dermatology at Stanford University.

How is it possible that acne would appear on your face from stress, emotional anxiety and a number of factors in your life? The connection is purely chemical. When you become tense, your adrenal glands flood your bloodstream with the hormone cortisol, which trigger the sweat glands in your face to produce more oil. When your sebaceous glands secrete excess sebum there is a higher probability that this excess oil will mix with dead skin cells and clog your pores, trapping bacteria inside. The result? More acne, primarily inflamed papules rather than blackheads or whiteheads.

What can you do about the relationship between stress and acne in your life? Of course, you can’t remove all the stressors from your life, that’s a part of being human. As we have seen, you can prevent its severity by leading a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet and at least seven hours of sleep every night will help you build a strong foundation. If you’re well fed and well rested, you’re less likely to feel irritated by the events of your day. It’s also a good idea to get regular exercise every day, even if it’s just a walk around the block at lunchtime. Lastly, it’s important to take time from each day to relax by reading a book, taking a bath, practicing yoga, or doing whatever makes you happy and calm.

It’s an important step towards overall good health, and therefore the health of your skin.

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Comments on Stress Related Acne Leave a Comment

October 21, 2010

Jose @ 6:44 pm #

What are the best ways to deal with stress? I am a student in university. This is my freshman year and I am under a lot of stress and it does seem to be affecting my skin.

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