07 Jul The Influence of Stress on Acne
It has long been assumed that stress and acne have a direct relationship, but a study published in the March 2007 issue of Acta Dermato-Venereologica has finally proven this assessment to be true. One of the researchers, Dr. Gil Yosipovich, said the following in a news release: “Our research suggests that acne severity associated with stress may result from factors others than sebum quantity. It’s possible that inflammation may be involved.”
Stress has indeed been known to cause inflammation in the body. That inflammation during stressful times – not increased sebum production, is what causes us to break out more when we are stressed out. This works the same for both teenagers and adults. Although most adults might argue that adults experience more intense stress than teenagers due to the demands of everyday life, the body responds similarly (with inflammation) no matter the severity of the stress. If the body perceives a situation as highly stressful (even if it is not stressful in comparison to most peoples’ situations) the inflammation response is going to be similar to that of a person going through a truly life-threatening situation.
While it is wise to seek acne treatment if your blemishes get out of control, the best treatment is always prevention. In this case, prevention primarily means decreasing stress in your life. Washing your face; not allowing hair, hats or other things to rub against your face excessively; frequently laundering your sheets and pillowcases; and changing make-up and skin care products to those deemed non-comedogenic help with prevention as well, but lowering your stress level works wonders for your skin and overall wellbeing.
Lowering stress is almost always easier said than done as we all know, but if you are conscious of high stress situations and do your best to avoid them, you are doing yourself a huge favor. This strategy is also ideal for people who don’t breakout frequently. Lowered stress levels are beneficial for everyone.
At Ulmer and Wu Dermatology, our acne treatments are spectacular and have worked miracles for many people, but we still don’t like seeing our patients stressed out. Our hope is that you can avoid getting breakouts in the first place.
Obviously stress can’t be totally avoided. It is even arguable that a small amount of stress is invigorating and helps push us to improve ourselves. An occasional exam or work presentation isn’t going to hurt us in the long term. However, constant high amounts of stress aren’t good for anyone.
Long term stress is even worse than occasional high stress. Constant breakouts may indicate unhealthy amounts of long term stress associated with depression, anxiety, or other similar challenges. If you believe that long term stressors are causing your acne, perhaps treating the root of the problem with also make your breakouts go away.
Of course anytime you need an effective treatment, we are here for you.