Skin Series - Environmental Aggressors : Stress


Our skin speaks volumes when it comes to the environment. Environmental aggressors can subject the skin to dryness, skin rashes, premature aging, acne, and eczema.The WHO defines the environment connected to health as “all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all its related behaviors.” You may genetically predisposed to certain skin problems, it may also be aggravated by environmental factors.

Your emotions have a strong effect on your skin. Stress can happen to each one of us. Stress is how you react to something that makes you feel threatened or upsets your balance. For instance, you may find it hard to cope with work pressures or certain events or pivotal moments

Stress and your skin

When you’re stressed, your body’s defence mechanism kicks in, releasing ‘stress hormones’. These affect different functions, like the flow of blood to your skin. A common sign of stress is skin irritation or a rash. If you don’t, then stress can show up on your skin, nails, and hair in ways you don’t like.

Stress causes a chemical reaction that makes your skin more reactive and sensitive. It can also make it harder for skin problems to heal. Stress boosts production of cortisol and other hormones, which causes your sebaceous glands to produce more oil.

Oily skin makes you more prone to acne and other skin problems. Stress even causes under eye bags, dry, flaky skin, breakouts, itchiness, rashes and hives, flushed face, changes in skin colour, fine lines, graying hair, thinning hair and deep grooves in your nails.

What can help?

Check in with yourself. Always remember no matter what you are always one. Your skin is often a mirror of what is deeper. Take care of your skin and don’t neglect it even if you are tired or stressed. Take pictures to track any changes or developments, progress can be slow, but so fulfilling when you start making the right changes.

Get regular exercise, take time for something you enjoy.

Practice cognitive therapy, self awareness techniques which help to build awareness of your own emotions and how you are feeling physically. such as yoga, breathing exercises, meditation or visual imagery. Practice good sleep rituals to ensure you give your body the time to rest and to better take on life’s challenges. Have a face to face conversation with someone.


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