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How Stress Affects Your Skin (And 5 Natural Remedies)

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Skin Treatments San Diego

We hear a lot about stress these days; stress at work, stress at home, stress from the kids or family members. It’s the one thing that seems to plague all of us, but isn’t easily identifiable and can take several forms. It can take a toll on our health and, more visibly, our skin – causing breakouts, redness, or flareups of existing issues. But what exactly is stress, and what causes those nasty breakouts? How can you remedy it? If you’re San Diego Dr. Ghayouri in La Jolla, Ca offers skin treatments and remedies to rejuvenate your skin.

What Is Stress?

As difficult as it is to define, we all know the symptoms well enough: nervousness, heart palpitations, clammy hands, irritation, and/or an inability to concentrate; on the other end of the spectrum, overeating, a loss of appetite, deadened feelings, insomnia, or oversleeping.

Technically, it isn’t the stress itself, but the reaction to our perceived stressors that causes the physical and psychological symptoms. We can’t avoid stressful situations in life – nor should we! A certain amount of stress can actually improve certain areas of your life (work performance, for example); but take notice when it starts to affect your daily life and physical health.

How Stress Affects Your Skin

Stress causes a chemical response in your body that makes skin more sensitive and reactive. There are other ways stress directly affects your skin and how it looks:

  • Stress causes your body to produce cortisol and other hormones, which tells your sebaceous glands to produce more oil — and oily skin is considerably more prone to acne and other skin problems.
  • It can also worsen existing skin problems or make it harder for them to heal (things like psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema).
  • Flushed skin. When you’re stressed, you breathe in short, shallow breaths and can even find yourself holding your breath for periods of time, which can lead to flushing and redness.
  • Some people even break out in hives and other types of skin rashes, and even trigger a flare-up of fever blisters.
  • Stress can often cause a lack of sleep, which leads to the dreaded under-eye bags and puffiness. 
  • If you’re stressed, chances are you’re not drinking enough water — which can cause dry, flaky, dehydrated skin.
  • Fine lines: constantly making certain facial expressions, like furrowing your brows or pursing your lips, can lead to deeper wrinkles in these areas over time.

Skin problems will only add to the stress, so be sure to take especially good care of your skin when you’re stressed. There are also several ways to relieve stress the natural way.

Natural Stress Relievers

A number of nutrients have been found to be useful by men and women to help manage stress. Once you start managing the stress, your skin problems will start to disappear (slowly but surely!) Here are a few natural remedies you can start out with.

Vitamin C is depleted by stress reactions, and is needed by the body in greater amounts during such times. Vitamin B5 is also necessary to cope with the effects of stressful situations.

The amino acid L-theanine, found in green tea, has been credited with the feeling of relaxation imparted by the beverage. It’s also available at some health food stores.

Lemon balm is another plant-derived treatment that may help with the effects of stress.

Lavender is a soothing herb that’s known for its aromatic effects; buy some fresh to place in different rooms in your house for a

Chamomile has long been touted as one of the most soothing herbs out there, and makes for a delicious herbal tea. Studies show that one of its compounds actually binds to the same brain receptors as drugs like Valium, which means the tea acts as a mild tranquilizer. If you aren’t a tea person, find a chamomile supplement, which can also help.

If stress has really taken a toll on your skin and you want to do something about those fine lines and wrinkles, Dr. Ghayouri has a number of treatments available. Find the one that’s right for you by calling her at 858-731-7601.