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Does stress cause and affect acne?

Research has shown that stress does not directly cause acne but it does affect acne and is one of the factors that make acne worse. To have a complete view of what causes acne, please visit this page.

Believe you have notice that when we are under stress, we tend to do things or reacted to stress differently, i.e. getting angry more easily, picking at our skin more, sleep less, lose hair, get migraines, eat different foods such as foods higher in fat and sugar and so on.

Basically, in times of stress, our body will release hormones of what we called cortisols. These hormones indeed are very helpful in helping us survive life-threatening situations and are known as the "fight or flight" reactions. The released of these hormones puts our body on high alert, i.e. our palms sweat, our heart rate increases, and all of our energy becomes available in one blast to get us through the immediate, threatening stressor. Believe you will agree that this is fine and even necessary, especially in situations where what happened was a matter of life or death. However, when it comes to stressors, chances are that we received more than what we should to see us through, i.e. our body release cortisols whether in respond to a meeting, a date or any other perceived bad or good factors.

Hence the longer-term effects of increased cortisols are suppression of our immune system (i.e. a collection of cells and structures in our body that fight disease or infection, for example, white blood cells, lymph nodes, and lymph vessels are the primary components of the immune system) and of course, acne, as the P. acnes (i.e. short for Propionibacterium acnes, a bacterium that grows and flourishes under certain condition, such as that of very low or no oxygen concentration and is the main culprit for inflammatory acne) bacteria tend to flourish in depressed immune state.

What is the solution then? Since stress can make our acne condition worse, the best solution will be to learn something that helps us to manage our stress well. From the acne clear and acne care perspective, proper stress management not only help to keep our skin clear through its profound effects in the treatment of acne, it also helps in every part of our life, i.e. clear our body and our mind.

A simple technique that we may want to try is to slowly take in a deep breath, hold it for 5 seconds, and then slowly breathe out. As we slowly exhale, let and feel our entire body relax with the positive energy return to our body. This technique is very useful before a big meeting or in the middle of an exam or even on a long night of studying. Try it and see whether it does wonder for you.

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