Stressed-out skin – expert tips to combat eczema and psoriasis

Dr Toni Phillips shares her expert advice on recognising the tell-tale signs of stressed-out skin and how to help keep stress-related skin issues at bay.

eyes stressed-out skin

Prepping for Christmas period and party season planning can bring lots of joy, but let’s not forget that it can be a stressful time of year – to say the least! Unfortunately, stress can wreak havoc on the skin, leading to flare ups of conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, or resulting in rashes and excess oil production, which can in turn lead to breakouts.

However, t’is the season to relax and unwind without stressful skin issues ruining the festive fun!

To help Dr Toni Phillips, Group Clinical Director at DestinationSkin, shares her expert advice on recognising the tell-tale signs of stressed-out skin and how to help keep stress-related skin issues at bay during times of high pressure.

older woman stressed-out skin

How stress affects the skin?

When you’re stressed, the body produces hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol, along with endorphins, insulin and other proteins that trigger inflammation. This can have an impact on certain skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema by making them worse. Many people also find that their acne can also get worse during stressful times, although there is less clinical evidence of this.

Unfortunately, when we have problems with our skin it can negatively influence how we feel about ourselves – leading to more stress, thereby creating a vicious cycle.

When we feel stressed, our behaviour can change. For example, we might reach for sugary foods, drink more alcohol than usual or smoke. This may affect the appearance of our skin, making it appear redder, with more breakouts or dull and without glow.

Nervous stress behaviours, such as picking spots, will worsen mild acne and can exacerbate acne in general. In addition, during stressful times, you may not be as diligent with your skin care routine, so if prolonged, your skin will change too.

Itchy stressed-out skin

Spot the signs of stressed-out skin

Signs of stressed-out skin include uneven skin tone with dull or dry skin; increased sebum in oily skin types; more frequent breakouts; an increase in moderate to severe acne and inflammation around the nose and on the cheeks, directly related to the increase of stress hormones.

How to help destress the skin

From lifestyle changes to treatments, there are a range of actions you can take to calm stressed out skin.

The key is to resume your self-care as soon as you can. Eat well, exercise and keep up a strict skin care routine – this has psychological benefits as well as physically making your skin look better.

Exercise can help to lower stress levels by increasing levels of beta-endorphins, this in turn fights the effects of cortisol. It can also boost energy levels and the immune system, helping to improve eczema and psoriasis symptoms.  

It may also help to avoid make up and cosmetics when your skin is going through a flare up. It’s tempting to use more cosmetics to cover up irritated skin and breakouts, especially if you are already feeling stressed-out by the way it looks, but this can clog pores and make inflammation worse. That said, make up can make you feel better and cover temporary blemishes, as long as you are cleansing effectively twice a day.

If you are experiencing a prolonged period of stress, seek the help of an in clinic skin care expert. You will welcome the support and advice, and it is one less thing to worry about on your own.

There are also several in-clinic treatments such as chemical peels, HydraFacial, IPL and lasers that will quickly and effectively deal with stress-related skin issues. Simply having a bit of in-clinic TLC can help to make you feel better!

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Tags: , Last modified: November 19, 2021

Written by 6:25 pm Fashion & Beauty