Whether concerned about educating kids from home, finding or maintaining a job, or the health of a loved one, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused Americans to experience significantly more stress. Even as the calendar has flipped to 2021 and vaccination becomes more widely available, the stress you experience daily from everything that surrounds COVID can take a toll on your health in a number of different ways, including the health and appearance of your skin. Fortunately, our dermatology specialists in Keizer at Valley View Dermatology have a few tips on how to handle stress when it relates to skin care.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about how stress impacts the health of your skin and a few ways you can lessen the impact.
What Stress Does to Your Skin
When your body experiences stress, it releases a chemical that make skin more reactive and sensitive. In addition to causing your skin to appear more worn and aged, this chemical can also make it harder for your body to heal any skin-related injuries.
Additionally, experiencing high levels of stress can cause you to break out more frequently. That’s because the body increases its production of cortisol, a chemical that causes glands in the skin to produce more oil. As you know, the oiler your skin, the more likely you are to develop acne and other skin problems.
Stress can also make existing skin problems worse. For example, stress can exacerbate eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis in patients dealing with those conditions. You may also start to develop various other rashes, hives, or a flare-up of fever blisters.
When the health of your skin declines, your ability to practice a daily skin care routine becomes impaired. Not only can stress make you just not feel like making the effort to moisturize or properly hydrate, open sores or cracked skin can make the application of these types of products painful. Skipping or shortening your daily routine can then aggravate any problems you’re currently experiencing, leading to vicious cycle.
The less healthy your skin, the more you may feel self-conscious about your appearance. Our dermatology specialists in Keizer appreciate that when patients don’t feel good about how they look that can often add additional stress, making their problems worse.
If you have developed a skin care issue that doesn’t seem to be healing on its own, you may need to visit our dermatology specialists in Keizer and start to rethink how you deal with stress.
Easing the Impact of Stress on Your Skin
While you’re unlikely to avoid stress entirely during these difficult times, you can find ways of handling it better so that it takes less of a toll on your health. Our dermatology specialists in Keizer recommend patients try the following methods:
- Make time for your skin. Despite how stressed you may be feeling, make the time to tend to your skin care needs. You’ll be amazed how much better you feel about yourself when your skin feels healthy and fresh.
- Get out and exercise. Exercise offers a great way to not only deal with stress, but to help make your body stronger and more resilient, including your skin.
- Take time for yourself. With the demands of work, school, kids, family, and significant others, it can be difficult to find a little time of yourself. But by taking just 10 minutes to relax, breath, bathe, or read a book, you can help to lessen the impact of stress on your mental and physical health.
- Take a walk. If ever stress feels like it might start to overwhelm you, take a few minutes and just walk around the block. The fresh air and exercise will help to clear your mind and relax your body.
- Work to manage your stress. Mediation, yoga, breathing exercises, and other methods of calming and relaxing yourself can go a long way towards better enabling you to deal with daily stress.
- Get the sleep your body needs. Fighting off the effects of stress requires that your body feels rested and ready to go every day. That requires you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
- Set and keep boundaries. Sometimes the greatest stress we feel comes from the expectations and commitments we make to others. If you have a lot going on, it’s okay to say no smaller, more trivial requests if it means freeing yourself up to do what’s best for you.