How Stress Affects Your Skin

April is Stress Awareness Month, which is an important opportunity to spread awareness and educate people about the causes and treatments of stress. With jobs, bills, and the uncertain future, stress is an inevitable part of modern day life and it affects us in numerous ways. One of the most apparent ways it can manifest is through our skin.

In what ways does stress affect our skin?

Stress can lead to:

  • Flare ups of pre-existing conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, due to heightened levels of cortisol
  • Increased scarring from picking, pulling, scratching skin
  • Appearance of cold sores and canker sores
  • Hair loss from abnormal hair cycles that encourage more shedding
  • Rashes or hives
  • Dry, itchy skin from the body’s decreased ability to retain moisture
  • Increase in fine lines and wrinkles from damaged skin cells

How can I prevent or treat these conditions?

Self-care is an important part of preventing many of these conditions, including getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water to rehydrate your skin, eating balanced, nutritious meals and exercising regularly. Practicing mindfulness and meditation can also help your mental and emotional well-being. When you can take steps to decrease your stress, many of these issues may resolve without professional help.

For persisting skin, hair, and nail conditions you can consult with a board-certified dermatologist to discuss individualized treatments. Dr. Juan Vaillant of Old Bridge Dermatology is a skin, hair, and nail specialist who also specializes in anatomic and clinical pathology to treat patients of all ages. Dr. Vaillant commonly treats conditions such as acne, eczema, dandruff, hair loss, psoriasis, dermatitis, rashes, skin cancer, age spots, and nail issues. Call our Old Bridge, NJ office at (732) 679-0222 for more information or to schedule an appointment!