How To Reduce Stress And Acne

Learn how to cope with stressStress is linked to acne. Stress weakens the skin’s barrier, as well as your immune system, and eventually decreases their ability to protect against harmful irritants and bacteria. 

In the long run, this can lead to acne and other skin disorders. The more stressed you are, the more likely you are to have an outbreak, especially if you are prone to acne.

Many medical professionals now recognize that reducing tension and anxiety can help to control acne breakouts. Besides treating your acne, your doctor may also recommend making some changes to your current lifestyle to reduce stress.

How Stress Can Cause Acne Breakouts And Scarring

The immune system, when stimulated by stress, reacts in an excessive and aggressive manner. The immune system fiercely attacks the P.acnes bacterium in the hair follicles, laying down fibrous scar tissue around the infection, inflammation or red tender acne lesion. This scar tissue then pulls down the hair follicle, resulting in a depressed or sunken scar on the skin.

How To Tell If You Are Stressed

The most common mental and physical symptoms of stress include

  • tension
  • irritability
  • inability to concentrate
  • insomnia or problems sleeping
  • constant fatigue
  • lack of energy
  • a pounding heart
  • a dry mouth
  • difficulty breathing
  • shaking uncontrollably
  • an upset stomach
  • butterflies in the stomach
  • frequent urination

Steps To Reduce Stress And Acne

There are simple steps to reduce stress and control acne which you can try.

  • Learn relaxation techniques such meditation, visualization and autogenic training. You can attend classes or purchase CDs or DVDs to learn these techniques.
  • Take up Tai Chi or Yoga to reduce stress and acne. Both Tai Chi and Yoga combine stretching exercises with breath control and meditation. Doing breathing exercises to reduce stress will help your body detoxify and reduce acne.
  • Soak in a warm chamomile bath before bedtime.
  • Go for a body massage once weekly. However, avoid massaging skin that has acne lesions.
  • Find time to exercise. Not only will you reduce stress, you will also be healthier. Try a new sport or exercise routine now and then to keep your body challenged. Exercise will help you to sleep better to reduce stress, effectively reducing your cortisol levels and resulting acne.
  •  Exercise also increases the level of endorphins in your body, helping you to feel better and less stressed.
  • Eat healthily. Acne is linked to a poor diet. When you have acne flare-ups, you’ll tend to feel stress, which will in turn worsen the acne.
  • Get a hobby, be it relating to sport, education or creativity.
  • Get outdoors. A daily walk for 20 to 30 minutes in the fresh air will clear your mind and make you feel better.
  • Get together with family or friends and have a laugh. The power of laughter helps you get rid of stress.
  • Keep a journal. Recording events, the stress you feel and relating it to your acne outbreak will make you more aware of what your stress triggers are.
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