Stress does not cause acne, but it can make it worse.
We talk a lot about stress and mental health. But did you know that stress can also have physical effects like exacerbating acne? Here's the lowdown on the link between stress and acne, and some tips to help you tide through.
What does stress have to do with acne?
A study among female medical students in Saudi Arabia proposes that stress increases the production of androgen (male) hormones in adult women with acne, which results in the increased production of sebum.
Several studies around the world have shown that psychological and emotional stress can make acne worse. Stress can cause your body to produce certain hormones that alter your skin's production of sebum (oils), which can worsen acne. A study among female medical students in Saudi Arabia proposes that stress increases the production of androgen (male) hormones in adult women with acne, which results in the increased production of sebum. Another paper written by the University of Zagreb School of Medicine noted that the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), a peptide hormone involved in responses to stress, plays an important role in the development of acne lesions.
3 steps to managing stress effectively
Acceptance is one of the top ways to manage stress. This means recognizing that you are stressed out, accepting that there are some things that cannot be changed, and knowing that you are in control of your emotions and reactions. It is not being passive but changing your perspective on the situation.
Many of us want our acne gone immediately. However, our skin takes time to renew itself. Take your mind off your spots and focus on other things that make you happy. Draw a long bath, have a glass of wine, read a good book, sing along to your favourite songs. Meditation can help a lot with patience-building too. We also love these LSW Mind Cards, 45 individually designed cards to help you boost your mood and increase your mental well-being.
3. Support Network
Talking to your support network can help you organize your thoughts better and feel less stressed out.
Sometimes we need to get things off our chest and have a good cry or laugh about things. Talking to your support network, whether it is your family, a colleague, your partner, your housemate, your friends, can help you organize your thoughts better and feel less stressed out! Doing some fun things together, such as a cosy film night or a socially-distanced picnic at the park can help lift your spirits greatly.
What are your favourite tips for stress management? Let us know below!