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How Stress Affects Our Skin

relax, it`s good for your skin

During times of emotional distress, the flow of blood is directed to areas of the body that are considered vital for responding to the stress that we are under. At the same time, blood is withdrawn from areas that are considered non-essential, such as the skin. Unfortunately, the skin is the largest organ and one of the most sensitive areas of the body. During times of stress, the skin is constantly being starved of both blood and oxygen, which causes the skin to take on a dull and lifeless appearance.


In addition to changing the skin’s natural appearance, continuous stress can increase cortisone secretion, which suppresses the body’s immune system. Once the skin’s defense is lowered, it becomes extremely susceptible to irritation from outside pollutants.


Stress can also affect more than just our immune system. It may impact the body’s ability to properly digest food, which can impact the health of the skin, as well as the health of the body. When food is not properly digested, the nutrients are not absorbed as they should be, allowing undigested impurities to remain and accumulate in the body.


Though stress has been known to trigger or aggravate skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, warts, cold sores, and blisters, it most commonly causes three specific skin reactions: hives, itching, and acne.


Allergies are the most common cause of hives, but stress has been known to make hives appear as well. During times of stress, histamines are released into the bloodstream, which can cause hives or small bumps to appear on the skin. In some cases, the hives will not be noticeable, but the skin will be very itchy. Usually, an antihistamine or a soothing lotion will help.


Though these reactions are common, most people who are under stress will find themselves afflicted with acne. Stress can unleash chemicals within the body that stimulate sebaceous (oil) glands. The excess sebum tends to clog pores and irritate skin, causing acne to form.


As irritating as these skin problems can be, they are usually only temporary. There are many different products that are available to help soothe the skin and help us relax in the process.


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