Dear Stress, 

Lets breakup!

Breakups are always difficult, especially when it comes to getting rid of STRESSSSSS!

 News flash… life is stressful !!!

 Multi tasking means sprinting with scissors, traveling at 210 kms on the 8 lane freeway of life  –  too familiar?

 Keeping all the balls in the air….. Juggling relationships, home, work, finances with little downtime from our organised chaos is cause enough for our skin to behave badly!

 Sitting in a traffic jam, late for work or facing the imminent departure of my flight when I still havent parked the car, is enough to get my heart racing whilst sweating off my not so perfectly applied makeup. These physical symptoms are the result of the release of an hormone called cortisol.

 Cortisol is released by our bodies to help us deal with stressful situations.

 Whilst cortisol is beneficial to the body  in the short term, it’s release over longer periods can trigger unfavourable skin conditions and have other damaging effects on your health

 More and more frequently people are presenting  with conditons known to be exacerbated by stress such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, eczema, hair loss and even an autoimmune disease called vitiligo (where areas of the skin becomes depigmented in patches), to Dermatologists who recognise there is a relationship  between stress and skin. This frequent association between stress and skin disorders has led to the evolution of a new medical discipline called Psychodermatology.

 Psychodermatology is the treatment of skin disorders using psychological and psychiatric techniques.

 ‘We all boil at different degrees’- Ralph Waldo Emerson, so  understanding how to effectively deal with stress will help alleviate the skin conditions triggered by stress.

 Stress can see our skin falling apart on us  with broader health implications if we don’t find time to relax and give the body some downtime…easier said than done!

 In the beginning….

Skin Behaving Badly

 In utero the skin and nervous system develop at the same time, holding hands, forming a partnership closely intertwined lasting our entire lives.

 In times of stress the adrenal glands are triggered to release cortisol helping the body to-

  • Metabolise glucose in the body- needed for sprints of energy
  • Release insulin – maintaining blood sugar levels
  • Increase Immune function
  • Increase inflammatory response

On the flip side…

 Chronic periods of stress and a constant release of Cortisol can have a deleterious effect-.

  • Impairment in cognitive performance
  • Suppression of  thyroid function
  • Disordered blood sugar levels
  • Decreased bone density
  • Decreased  muscle tissue
  • Increase in  blood pressure
  • Decreased immunity and inflammatory response
  • Compromised wound healing

Definitely not what we need when dealing with stress related skin conditions!

What happens to our skin when we’re stressed?

 In the case of acne and stress, cortisol is released, increasing oil production. Together with cortisol -induced lower immunity, decreased inflammatory response and reduced wound healing capabilities, suddenly we have the perfect environment for acne to flourish.

 It can be a vicious cycle, the more stressed we become the more these conditions flare up and may worsen, the more they worsen or appear, the more anxious we become….so it makes sense to treat the underlying causes of skin conditions triggered by stress with a multifactorial  approach.

 Trying to apply the brakes on stress is like turning back the hands of time, near impossible but grabbing 5 mins here and there in our busy schedules might just be enough to make a difference and disturb the prolonged release of cortisol.

Skin Behaving Badly

  Off the treadmill and start by trying to access some anti-stress techniques and lifestlyle adjustments.

 Eating foods with anti-inflammatory and healing benefits!healing-foods/clb8

  • Start small with snatched moments of downtime  – be careful not to have unrealistic expectations of available time as you will stress even more if you can’t meet them
  • Recognising your stress triggers
  • Find your ‘Oprah Corner’ where you can zen out for 5 mins
  • Walking the dog – you know he’ll love it!
  • Why not try Yoga
  • Meditation and Minfulnesss
  • WaterWaterWater

 further reading;

  Meditation for Busy People  by author OSHO- readily available at all online bookstores.

 As Psychodermatology increases in popularity and people understand the close relationship between mind and skin, greater success will be seen in the management of stress related skin conditions.

An integrated approach combining relaxation techniques,  nutritional advice, medication will all contribute in helping to alleviate the cause and symptoms of skin conditions triggered by stress.

 ASkinSolutions x




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