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Is Stress Affecting Your Skin?

Stress can have many effects on the body ranging from physical pain to outright exhaustion. But stress can affect your body externally, as well. If you’re feeling stressed and wondering if it can affect your skin, here’s what you need to know.

How Stress Can Affect Your Skin


One of the most common effects of stress on the skin is acne. When you’re stressed out, your body creates more cortisol than usual. And cortisol causes the hypothalamus to produce a hormone called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which is thought to stimulate your sebaceous glands and trigger oil release. The excessive oil production can clog your pores and lead to an acne breakout.

Fortunately, most acne treatments are designed to help your skin regulate the amount of oil on its surface. Learning how to get rid of acne caused by stress also requires you to identify what stresses you out. When you can more easily identify the feeling of stress, you can take steps to calm down. This practice works best in tandem with your regular acne medication. Make sure you’re following your dermatologist’s recommendations closely to mitigate the effects of stress on your acne.

Under-Eye Bags

If you’re experiencing puffiness or swelling around your eyes, particularly underneath them, you could be experiencing a side effect of high stress levels. While under-eye bags become more common with age, they can also be the result of stress caused by sleep deprivation. If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, your body is likely more stressed than normal. If you’re concerned about signs of premature aging like under-eye bags, your dermatologist can help with a variety of cosmetic dermatology services.

Skin Rashes

When you’re stressed out, your immune system can’t function as well as it needs to. Unfortunately, a weakened immune system can result in a bacterial imbalance on your skin, which in turn may lead to a skin rash. You may only experience a little bit of redness and irritation, but it’s also possible to experience a more severe skin rash as a result. In addition, stress can exacerbate skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis. If you know you’re prone to skin rashes when you’re stressed out, it’s a good idea to speak with your dermatologist about how you can mitigate this symptom.

Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Stress really can make you look older than you are. Stress actually causes changes to the proteins in your skin and as a result, can reduce its elasticity. And since your skin’s elasticity is what keeps it looking young and smooth, a lack of it can result in signs of premature aging like under-eye bags, wrinkles, and fine lines.

Fortunately, there are a number of cosmetic dermatology services that can help reduce signs of aging. Chemical peels, light therapies, and prescription retinol products are all things your dermatologist can help you with.

Our Dermatologists Can Help

Stress causes a whole host of changes internally and externally. If you’re having trouble with the effects of stress on your skin and you need answers, contact Palos Verdes Dermatology Associates today.

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