Do not feel guilty if you feel stressed from time to time because everybody goes through it. However, when it becomes chronic, it can have a profound impact on your health. Being stressed does not only impact your immune system. It can also make you look old. This is because stress can cause wrinkles, dry skin, as well as acne, and those are just some of the ways that stress can manifest itself. That is why in this article, we are going to list down the things that stress can do to your skin.
- Stress can give you dry skin – The outer layer of our skin, known as the stratum corneum, contains lipids and proteins that are important in keeping our skin cells hydrated. Not only that, but it also acts as a protective barrier that protects the skin underneath. When the stratum corneum is not performing its task the way it should, our skin can become itchy and dry. According to some studies, stress can also slow down our skin’s ability to heal itself too.
- Stress can cause rashes – As we mentioned, stress can weaken our immune system, and when this happens, it can lead to an imbalance of bacteria in our skin and gut, also known as dysbiosis. When this happens on our skin, it can cause redness or a rash. Studies show that stress can also aggravate several skin conditions that cause inflamed skin, such as eczema, psoriasis, as well as contact dermatitis.
- Stress can cause hair loss and graying hair – It’s true; stress can make your hair go gray. This is because the cells called melanocytes produce a pigment called melanin which gives our hair its color. According to research, there is a sympathetic nervous activity from stress which can cause melanocytes to disappear. Once this happens, new cells will lose their color, thus turning our hair gray. Chronic stress can also interrupt the growth cycle of our hair, leading to a condition known as telogen effluvium. This condition is known for causing an immense amount of hair to fall out.
- Stress can cause wrinkles – Being stressed all the time can cause changes to our skin’s proteins, thus reducing its elasticity. When this happens, this can cause wrinkles to form in our skin. Not only that, but stress can also cause repeated furrowing in our eyebrows which can also contribute to the formation of wrinkles.
- Stress can give us bags under our eyes – Bags under our eyes or eye bags are characterized by puffiness under our eyelids, and they become familiar with age because the muscles that surround our eyes weaken. On the other hand, sagging skin is caused by the loss of elasticity in our skin, contributing to the development of eye bags. According to research, stress that is caused by sleep deprivation can also increase signs of aging, such as uneven pigmentation and fine lines.
Ways to Cope with Stress
Some causes of stress are unavoidable, but there are several ways that you can do to cope with stress and minimize its effects, and help you manage it better. Here are some ways to help you cope with stress:
- Maintain a good lifestyle – Have a healthy diet and remember to get plenty of sleep every day to help your body manage stress.
- Make time for relaxing activities – Do not overwork yourself. Also, find time to schedule some time for activities that can help make you feel relaxed.
- Remember to stay active – Exercise can help lower the levels of stress hormones in your body. Not only that, but it can also help you take your mind off the things that are causing you stress.
- Talk to someone – Talking to your family, friends, or mental health professionals can also help you cope with stress better.