Friday, September 16, 2016

Is Stress Getting Under Your Skin?

Stress not only affects our bodies mentally but it can show on our skin.

I have a very sensitive scalp but as long as I don't use certain products or catch the sun it doesn't cause a problem. Yet when I suffer from stress it becomes tender, itchy and feels like it's burning.

As a teen whenever I was worried or upset I would wake up the next day with a spot and as an adult my skin can feel itchy when I am nervous such as before a job interview.

My scalp was very sensitive during my breakdown and the skin all over my body felt sensitive and irritated. The medication for my depression had a few side effects related to my skin such as sensitivity, skin rash, itching and dry mouth. At times it felt like my skin was crawling.

There are a few reasons why skin problems can occur with stress...

  1. side effects from medication
  2. there is research into psychological links involved in some skin problems such as acne, eczema, hives, rosacea, psoriasis, alopecia, vitiligo and hair pulling/self mutilation- scratching, picking, biting
  3. when you release the stress hormone cortisol it can increase the skin's oil production which may cause spots
  4. stress can worsen pre-existing skin problems making them more prominent
  5. during times of stress we often neglect ourselves and may skip on our usual skin creams, skin care regimes, personal hygiene routines
  6. biting your nails, picking your nails/skin, itching, hair pulling and scratching the backs of your hands are quite common responses to stress for a lot of people
  7. stress can cause excess sweat which adds bacteria to the skin's surface- this may cause dark patches or sweat rashes
  8. stress and lack of sleep can cause premature aging which can include skin looking grey or washed out, wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes
  9. when we are under a large amount of stress it can affect our lifestyle- less sleep, not exercising, working overtime when exhausted, eating unhealthily, increased alcohol intake, increased smoking... all are terrible for the condition of our hair, skin and nails
Do I have any tips?
  1. try to keep a healthy lifestyle and upkeep skin regimes
  2. avoid alcohol and cut down on smoking
  3. speak to your doctor about alternative medications and if a skin condition is new to you
  4. I use a maximum strength roll on deodorant that is kind to skin
  5. I use an itchy scalp shampoo even when my scalp is ok
  6. Avoid perfumed products and use skin products marked for sensitive skin
  7. Having something to hand such as a worry stone, stress ball or 'fidget puzzle' can stop you from itching, picking, scratching, pulling hair

And most importantly....Treating the stress will help your skin. So take care of yourself and combat the stress to see a difference in stress related skin problems.

Much love,
Becky xx

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