Q:

How does stress affect the skin?

A:

Quick Answer

Stress affects the skin by making the skin more reactive and sensitive, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Existing skin conditions such as rosacea or psoriasis often worsen when individuals experience stress.

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Full Answer

The onset of stress can trigger a worsening factor for dermatitis and fever blisters, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In some individuals, stress can dehydrate the skin, which allows more infectious agents, allergens and irritants to penetrate the skin. Stress can also impair skin barrier functions that result in inflamed and persistent acne lesions, cause excessive perspiration, and cause or worsen hives on the skin.

When patients are stressed, the common trend is to abuse or neglect care of the skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Individuals under stress may lack the motivation and energy to maintain skin care regimens and experience an increased risk for pulling, rubbing or scratching the skin.

Stress reduction in conjunction with dermatologic therapies can improve the appearance and health of the skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. As the influence of stress diminishes, skin often clears quickly. For example, stress reduction decreases the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals and stress hormones, ultimately reducing blood vessel overactivity, which results in less flushing and blushing.

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