It is a commonly asked question, and the answer is yes, stress is a trigger for skin and can greatly affect its appearance – especially inflammatory-based conditions. Dr Alice Rudd often encourages her patients suffering from skin disease to incorporate stress reducing activities in their lifestyle - and that’s because it really does make a difference. Why? Let’s dive in a little deeper.
Hormones like cortisol are stimulated when we are stressed, and that in turn can affect gut health and increase internal inflammation. When we are inflamed, we are more likely to see skin flare ups, particularly in conditions like psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis. In addition, increased levels of cortisol cause increased oil production (sebum) which can lead to acne break outs. We know because we see acne is all age groups – not just teenagers!
Stress can also cause behaviours that contribute to distressed skin such as more frivolous dietary choices (hello coffee and sugar!), drinking less water as well as touching and picking at skin.
At Skindepth Dermatology we believe in healthy skin and that a holistic approach to general wellness is mandatory for everyone. Some simple ways to help minimise stress levels include doing regular exercise, breathing exercises/ meditation and getting enough sleep. Find what you like to do to minimise your stress levels!