In this article, we look at the impact that psychological stress, in private or professional life, can have on our body in general, and specifically on our skin. Can acne be caused by stress? We examine the relationship between stress and acne, how stress can cause and worsen the symptoms of oily and problematic skin, and what things we can try to help reduce stress and minimize its effect on our skin.
Nowadays, stress has different causes. These can be psychological stress, frustration at work, problems with relatives or friends, as well as illness.
So, can acne be caused by stress?
Stress can disrupt metabolism: you may have trouble sleeping, digestion, you may feel depressed, maybe irritated and out of balance. For most people, it doesn’t take long before the effects appear on the skin: it begins to itch with a tendency to redness, and symptoms of oily and problematic skin appear.
Emotional stress has long been linked to acne, but research indicates that, until very recently, science has underestimated the impact it has on the severity of acne forms.
When stressed, our bodies produce hormones (such as cortisol and adrenaline), neuropeptides (such as endorphins and insulin), and inflammatory cytokines (small proteins that activate inflammation) that affect the function of sebaceous glands and can worsen acne.
A large number of research projects, many of which are based on questionnaires, affirmatively answer the question: Can acne be caused by stress? One study found that acne patients reported a gap of two days between a stressful event and an exacerbation of acne.
Some people may also treat their oily and problematic skin improperly and aggressively as a result of stress, causing the bacteria to expand and cause more inflammation, so that mild acne symptoms worsen.
Research shows that stress slows the healing of wounds so that the symptoms of oily and problematic skin take longer to heal.
A study by the University of Dermatology Clinic at Stanford University School of Medicine answers the question: Can acne be caused by stress?
Increased levels of pain and significant prolongation were observed in students who participated in the study with increasing levels of stress — ahead of the exam term, and under acute pressure due to passing, as well as associated lack of sleep and altered eating habits. On top of that, the skin condition worsened.
Stress reduction tips
Autogenic training, yoga, meditation, wellness treatments, and traditional Chinese medicine methods can help you relax, develop a positive mental attitude and boost your confidence.
Sports and exercise
Exercise releases endorphins (hormones of good mood) in the body. They help you feel better and relax. Better fitness also contributes to a sense of self-worth.
Nutrition against acne and pimples involves excluding certain foods from the diet and increasing the intake of various vitamins and minerals that help reduce subcutaneous fat and prevent acne and pimples.
First, spicy and fatty foods should be excluded from the diet: spices, vegetable oil, sauces, ketchup, mayonnaise, chips, fatty meat, smoked sausages, strong cheeses, as well as fast food (especially burgers and french fries). Along with this, it is necessary to limit the intake of sweets: cakes, chocolates, ice cream, caramel, as well as tea, coffee, and sodas.