Stress and Acne

Stress and Acne

I am STRESSED! Can Stress Make My Acne WORTH? What can I Do??

Stress comes in different “packages” for different people and what is stressful to you will not necessarily bother someone else. However, our bodies respond to stress in the same way. Adrenaline is the number one stress hormone; it speeds up the heart beat, breathing and metabolic rate to give us a necessary rush of extra energy. to deal with circumstances that cuse stress.  Adrenaline is produced and stored in our two adrenal glands that are situated on top of the kidneys and with long-term stress these glands will deplete.
Unfortunately modern stress is relentless and experienced day after day never giving us time to relax and balance ourselves it also have quite profound effect on the skin and may exasperate your acne .

Stress affects our skin in a variety of ways.

  • Adrenaline redirects blood away from the skin and sends it to the muscles instead. This is why in times of relentless stress the skin becomes pale and "washed out".
  • Anger, irritability, excitement and frustration unleash chemicals, which stimulate the sebaceous glands into pouring out more oil. The excess sebum can block the pores and encourage the pimples to form. This is why we tend to break out in spots on the eve of an important occasion.
  • Chronic stress makes muscles tense up and become stiff. This prevents the flow of blood bringing enough oxygen and vital nutrients to the skin. Tension also is responsible for slowing the swift removal of wastes from the underlying tissue. Stressed skin lacks vitality and looks congested.
  • Strain slows down the rate of cell turnover so the fresh epidermal cells take longer to reach the skin surface and much of their moisture has disappeared. Under constant pressure the skin looks dull and sallow.
  • Continuous stress increases cortisone secretion, which suppresses the body's natural immunity. The skin's defense breaks down and allows the skin to be irritated by outside chemicals and pollutants.

Stress and Acne

When we are stressed our blood sugar and insulin levels rise to mobilize the body organs to deal with the stress. This “mobilization” is a protection mechanism and while in many situations it helps us to be more efficient in dealing with stress, it also has some seriously negative impacts on our bodies –in short – stress causes a serious increase in inflammatory chemicals at a cellular level which can exacerbate acne. Since acne is one form of inflammatory disease – stress will worsen acne, sometimes quite dramatically. We all experience this situation in our lives when exams, job interviews or even health changes of our loved ones may cause an increase in breakouts and a more difficult path to eliminate them.

We also need to know that during the “mobilization” of our bodies to deal with stress several special hormones are produced to help mediate this process. Some of the most important are Cortisol and other hormones released by the adrenal glands that can act as androgens (male hormones) and over- stimulate the sebaceous glands.   A previously mentioned androgens and fluctuating hormone levels will produce  more skin oil which in turn clogs the pores and… an acne  flare-up is on the way.
So if you already have acne or just acne prone skin it is vital that you find ways to eliminate or at least to reduce physical and psychological stress that is indeed directly correlated with breakouts.

4 Simple Tips to Reduce Stress:

  • Make sure that you get enough sleep.
  • Limit intake of coffee and tea. Replace them with water and herbal teas (no caffeine).
  • Set aside fifteen or twenty minutes a day for de-stressing activities: meditation, yoga,   simple walks or reading your favorite book may do the trick
  • Use the ant-inflammatory diet

Infusion for Stress

  • 10g dried lime flowers
  • 10g dried chamomile
  • 10g dried vervain

Add the dried herbs to 1 pint (600ml) of boiling water in a warmed pot with a lid. Leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes and then strain. Drink warm throughout the day.

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