Did you know that stress, anxiety, and other psychological conditions might be an underlying cause for common skin issues like acne, rosacea, psoriasis and more? There is a connection between the skin and the central nervous system, which means any changes in your nervous system can alter your skin condition.
Poor mental health could be the reason for breakouts or damaged skin. When you are dealing with a great amount of stress, your body produces more skin sebum, which leads to oily discharge, that results in clogged pores and acne. Stress also increases inflammation, which can aggravate eczema and other skin conditions. Stress has the ability to trigger cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. Any visible effects on your skin are most likely related to your mental state and how you’re feeling overall.
Stress and anxiety leads to chronic inflammation in the body, which results in cortisol imbalance. This causes the sebaceous glands to produce thick and sticky oil, to which dead skin sticks to and blocks the pores. It then develops bad bacteria growth, which is the perfect environment for breakouts and acne.
When your mind, body and soul are worry-free and aren’t dealing with stress, the hormone levels in your body remain relatively balanced. But when you’re in a situation that is psychologically and physically stressful, then your body signals the adrenal glands by the sympathetic nervous system, to flood the system with adrenaline and cortisol, which are major stress hormones. Cortisol inhibits the skin from producing hyaluronic acid, which is your body’s natural moisturizer. And along with inflammation, it causes flaky and itchy skin, such as rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.
As stated, there is connection between your mind and skin, and that’s how they influence each other. This varies from hormones of inflammatory stress, to chemicals which are released by the nervous system in reply to stress, which directly affects your skin’s condition.
Other lifestyle factors, such as anxiety or lack of sleep, can alter your mental state and the health of your skin. The best way to control this connection is to fix it, such as going to bed earlier or knowing how to manage your anxiety when it occurs. For example, try things like exercise or meditation, to help you cope with your anxiety, which will then allow you to feel less stressed and have a more sane mindset.
Perception and how you see yourself can also worsen your skin issues. If you are already dealing with acne and constantly critiquing yourself for it, this could result in low self-esteem and a weak state of mind.
It’s important to not be negative in this situation. Instead, be aware of this on a logical level and continue working to remind yourself that your skin issues are temporary and it will get better!
Lastly, your behavior and how you treat your skin can play a major role. If your confidence level has decreased, you might start to feel depressed, anxious or lazy, which might lead you to stop treating your skin or skipping steps in your skin routine. The best thing you can do for yourself when feeling anxious or depressed, is to relax. There are many ways to feel relaxed, such as reading a book, listening to music, learning to cook a new recipe or anything that makes you feel comfortable.
With all that being said, remember it’s important to put you and your mental health first! You have to feel good in order to look good. Don’t sweat the small stuff because stress always leaves a mark!