Stress and Skin Health
There is a strong connection between Stress and Skin Health!
In fact your skin can be the first signal that something is wrong. Be aware that stress can cause far greater problems with your mental health if ignored, so try to address any issue head on.
The beginning of the festive season brings additional stress to many women particularly those in the 'sandwich' generation i.e. caring for both children and aging parents. In my own family I see a change of dynamics as both my daughter-in-law and my niece attempt/need to be in several places at one time!
Few of us escape worry-free and skin, being the body's largest organ, rarely escapes the onslaught.
There is of course 'positive stress', rather like an adrenalin rush, which helps us to stay motivated and enjoy life. Even then the renewed energy and determination can become challenging if it's not realistic!
How stress and skin health are connected
Longer term, of course, other problems can set in. So be aware that your skin can be a signal that stress is building and try to nip it in the bud!
Dry and Flaky Skin
In times of stress we often forget the basics of taking care of ourselves. Not drinking enough water will, initially, cause dry, flaky skin with fine line and wrinkles to follow.
Over time dehydration can cause far more problems. Drinking enough water is a major factor in maintaining all-over body and mental health. 2 litres of water per day is recommended.
Lack of Sleep
A poor night's sleep is initially evident in red tired eyes, headaches, dark shadows and excess fluid that is collected in 'bags' beneath the eye.
Sleep deficiency over a period of time can cause more serious problems causing difficulty with decision making, memory and focusing on life in general.
Take steps to wind down before bedtime, avoid caffiene, large meals and alcohol late at night. Phones, Ipad and other electrical devices should be banned from the bedroom, it's switch off time!
Acne, Psoriasis or Eczema
The connection between stress and skin health is often triggered when the body releases the hormone cortisol, which causes skin glands and other hormones to become imbalanced.
If you're prone to acne, eczema or psoriasis, even small worries can be enough to cause a breakout.
Stomach upsets and Rashes
Stress can generate a bacterial imbalance in your gut when the bad bacteria will overtake the good bacteria. This can exacerbate various skin conditions, stomach upsets and produce strange rashes.
A tingling or tightness of the hands with or without a rash can often be a signal that you're suffering from stress.
Flushing or Rosacea
When you're under stress you are likely to take shorter, shallower breaths causing a lack of oxygen. This can cause your capillaries to expand causing a particular type of flushing called rosacea.
Stress weakens the immune system too which can further extend the duration of these flare-ups.
Get Stress under control
Develop your own best strategy for stress management. A healthy diet, regular exercise, some good deep breathing and ample sleep will all help to keep stress levels under control.
Hydrate your skin both inside and out; drink plenty of water and apply a good moisturizer over face and body.
Attempt to separate your worries into what you can and what you can't control. Focusing on areas where you can actually make a difference will begin to give you a feeling of achievement rather than one of disappointment.
Confide in close friends or loved ones and allow others to share the load if that's possible. It may help your stress levels and the health of your skin.
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