In this article, a dermatologist sheds light on the topic of stressed skin and provides insight on how to effectively manage conditions such as acne flares that may arise from stress. The main idea being discussed is the impact that stress can have on the skin and how individuals can take steps to mitigate its effects.
Stress, a common phenomenon in today's fast-paced world, not only affects our mental and physical well-being but can also wreak havoc on our skin. Dr. Michelle Henry, a board-certified dermatologist, explains that stress can disrupt the delicate balance of our skin, leading to various skin conditions, including acne flares.
During times of stress, our body releases stress hormones like cortisol, which can stimulate the production of oil in the skin. This excessive oil production can clog pores, leading to acne breakouts. Furthermore, stress can also compromise the skin's natural healing process, making it more difficult for existing acne to heal and for new breakouts to subside.
Dr. Henry emphasizes the importance of finding healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress levels, as they directly impact the skin. Engaging in activities like exercise, meditation, or pursuing hobbies can help alleviate stress and promote overall well-being, thereby benefiting the skin. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular sleep patterns, and staying hydrated, is crucial in managing stressed skin.
When it comes to acne flares caused by stress, Dr. Henry advises individuals to avoid aggravating the skin further. Harsh and abrasive skincare products, like scrubs and exfoliants, should be avoided, as they can cause further irritation. Instead, gentle and non-comedogenic cleansers and moisturizers should be used to cleanse and hydrate the skin.
Dr. Henry also recommends incorporating topical treatments that contain ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide into the skincare routine to help combat breakouts. However, she advises caution, as these treatments can cause dryness and irritation in some individuals. Therefore, it is important to start with a low concentration and gradually increase as tolerated.
For those experiencing severe and persistent acne flares that do not respond to over-the-counter treatments, Dr. Henry suggests seeking professional help from a dermatologist. Dermatologists can prescribe oral medications, such as antibiotics or hormonal therapies, or perform in-office procedures like chemical peels or laser treatments to manage more stubborn cases of acne.
In conclusion, stress can have a significant impact on the skin, leading to conditions like acne flares. However, by adopting healthy coping mechanisms, following a balanced lifestyle, and using appropriate skincare products, individuals can effectively manage stressed skin. Seeking professional help from a dermatologist is recommended for severe and persistent cases of acne. Ultimately, taking care of both our mental well-being and our skin is crucial for overall health and confidence.