We live in a stressful world and the effects of stress on our physical health are well documented. Stressful relationships or grueling work situations are the main causes of stress and can lead to headaches, elevated blood pressure levels, digestive problems and even stomach ulcers.
Research into a relatively new field of psychodermatology now reveals that the effects of stress can be etched forever on our skin.
Effects of Stress on our Skin
Doctors have found that there is a connection between stress, the brain/hormones and our skin. It seems likely that worrying over an impossible deadline, fretting about money or stressing out over a bad friendship can induce temporary or long-term skin problems including the following:
Stress is known to trigger inflammation in the body and when it reaches the face, it can cause breakouts of dry skin and spots. Topical application of cream containing salicylic acid to remove dead skin and benzoyl peroxide to counter bacteria can help. However, dealing with the root causes of stress is the best way to prevent acne and control sebum production from increased adrenal gland activity.
One of the effects of stress is an increase in the production of the hormone cortisol, which causes the skin to dry out and produce less collagen which provides the skin’s elasticity. Lack of collagen is known to cause fine lines and wrinkles as we age. No one wants premature signs of aging as one of the effects of stress, so it’s important to deal with the causes of stress and control this undesirable side effect of living with stress.
Reducing the Causes of Stress
It’s essential to take control of the causes of stress and counter the problems using mind control and relaxation techniques. Get a CD of breathing exercises to help you relax after a particularly stressful day. It can also help improve poor sleep patterns, another stress-related condition.
Enroll in a yoga class and learn to relax tense shoulder and back muscles, or treat yourself to an aromatherapy massage. Walking, cycling, jogging and other recreational activities provide a double benefit by helping reduce the effects of stress and getting some fresh air, which is the key to healthy glowing skin.
Finally, counter stress with a plateful of antioxidants in the form of a salad, vegetable stir fry or a platter of fresh fruit. Antioxidants can counter the harmful free radicals that are a known cause of wrinkles and aging. The effects of stress don’t have to show in your skin, but you have to take a proactive approach to counter the causes of stress in order to prevent long-term damage to your skin.