Are you laboring under chronic stress? This condition seems to be becoming characteristic for the U.S. Last year’s study into the problem of stress delivered by the American Psychological Association reveals that more than a half of Americans believe this is the country’s gravest period in terms of stress affliction. People can’t get to sleep: around 45% confessed they were so plagued that in these past months they just went to bed and lay awake unable to doze off.
Besides sleep, our skin is too afflicted badly by accumulating stress. Let’s take a look into how it can tell on your skin – and how you can counter the effect and try to retain a healthy appearance.
With those who are having, or had, skin issues stress may result in flare-ups and other forms of aggravation. If you feel your stress mount, don’t be surprised when your eczema or psoriasis plays up accordingly. It means that the level of cortisol has risen more than it is good for your immune system, and your skin is one of the first parts of the body to bend under pressure.
Once your problems and obligations have amassed to such an extent that your sleep becomes troubled, fluid begins to gather in the area underlying your lower eyelid. You get up in the morning and a look in the mirror shows your puffs just where they seem ugliest. And if you slept on your tummy, gravity made the effect much worse.
Preventing Under-Eye Bags
See to it that you sleep not less than eight hours. Upon seeing that in the morning your eyes are swollen, take a cold spoon (which you placed in the fridge the night before for that very purpose), press it to the puffy area on the inner corner of your eye and make massaging movements outwards for the fluid to drain away. Once you have chased off the worst of the puffs, apply concealer right under the eyes. The part of your face starting from around your nostrils up to your eyes will become bright, helping to conceal the bags or what is left of them. Applying cold wet green tea bags under your eyes also reduce eye puffiness. Another useful tip would be eating less salt since it leads to fluid retention.
Rashes, Hives and Cold Sores
These are results of your gut becoming unbalanced, a condition known as dysbiosis. They begin to manifest themselves as stress keeps mounting and there are too many bad bacteria in the body. Also, this situation can slow down the healing process considerably.
While stress in small quantities can be a healthy thing, letting you stay focused and cerebrally agile, when it builds up, it begins to tell on the immune system. The individual might fall prey to skin infections and develop cold sores or other blemishes. What’s more, they will prove difficult to heal, since stress exacerbates the protective outer layer thereby worsening the barrier function.
Soothe the skin
You can relieve your stress (and consequently diminish the risk of developing stress-induced rash or hives) through doing breathing exercises, but you should see a doctor about it when it crops up. You need to restore the bacterial balance in the gut, so you may have to take medical-grade probiotics to this end.
As we repeat our customary facial expressions on a daily basis, smiling, frowning, or squinting, we form lines on the skin of the face that get deeper and deeper.
How to prevent those small wrinkles?
First, you have to be aware of your habitual expressions when you react to something or ruminate over something – take a stock of them by observing your reactions. Then learn to relax your muscles. You can employ little pieces of adhesive tape stuck judiciously over the parts of your face that tend to go wrinkly when you change expression suddenly. Feeling the tape as you strain your muscles will help you remember to relax them.
Dry skin going flaky
Stress could prevent you from taking sufficient amount of water. It is even worse if you go heavily for soda or coffee, which cause dehydration. What’s more, constant anxiety can also lap up moisture that is used by the skin. Lack of hydration will certainly tell on the skin that may grow dry and begin to resemble paper.
What can you do about it?
Naturally, see to it that you get enough water; you will also do good to drink a lot of green tea that has antioxidant qualities. Choose foods which contain a lot of water that is, fruits, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets. If you need to reverse the poor situation quicker, opt for a serum containing hyaluronic acid, it’s a natural body ingredient which carries a thousand times its weight in water.
As stress makes your muscles tense, the body reacts by generating stress hormones, one of which is cortisol. It often leads to the skin producing more oil that is conducive to developing pimples.
Acne treatment tips
As soon as you feel that your skin is about to break out with pimples, use the spot treatment that promises quick results. To treat an acne outbreak with the best success, get products containing salicylic acid, or topical probiotics, or benzoyl peroxide that will eliminate harmful bacteria, alleviate inflammation and diminish redness. Other tips include regular exfoliating, a healthy way of life and a balanced diet, as well as such simple tips as changing your pillow case at least twice a week.
Scratches and small scars can be caused by stress too
An increase of stress and anxiety could cause tic behaviors when you pick and pull at your skin without really noticing it or twist and pull strands of hair. Such behaviors lead to grave problems that resist treatment as the skin keeps getting tiny scars and wounds.
How to Stop it?
If you have gotten to the point when you pick at pimples or other kinds of outbreak with your nails subconsciously, first of all, you must observe what your hands are doing all the time. Reminding yourself that it is an extremely harmful habit, prepare some small activities that will involve your hands and get them away from afflicted areas. If it’s too difficult to control this, ask your spouse or a friend to let you know each time you pick at your skin blemishes.
Learn to Manage Stress
There’s no easy way to get around stress: bills keep coming, job holds challenges, life throws unpleasant surprises your way. Since you won’t be able to make your life stress-free, you have to cope with it. If you have healthy eating habits, go to the gym often, spend much time in the fresh air, sleep well and look after yourself, stress won’t be such a problem as when you don’t. In any case, it won’t show so much on your skin, nails, and face.
You must know that stress can be kept at bay. Of course, it takes knowledge and perseverance, employing some strategies like learning how to meditate mindfully, it may take some time and money, but, taking it all into account, you have fair chances to come out a winner!
About the Author
Daria Kurilko is the founder, writer and editor of Geniusbeauty.com – an online guide for women about beauty, health and relationships – as well as some other sites, such as Geniusgadget.com and Geniuspregnancy.com. She has a master’s degree in sociology with a number of scientific publications to her credit and extensive experience in marketing and pr . Daria, who currently lives in Wiesbaden, Germany, is also a loving mother and wife. Since 2007 she enjoys sharing her experiences and broad knowledge about all things nutrition, beauty and lifestyle with her readers.