Similar to how stress can affect gastrointestinal issues, the skin can also be affected by emotional stress. This is because stress releases a number of hormones that trigger a chemical response in the body. Most of these responses may make the skin more sensitive. Moreover, the chemicals may cause the skin to respond more aggressively, compared to individual's who do not have stress. If you already have skin issues, stress may worsen the symptoms or make it difficult to heal. It is known that when a person is under stress, he or she can experience acne break outs. This is related to the release of stress hormones that cause the sebaceous glands to secrete more oil. More oil is equivalent to more acne and more skin issues.
Did you ever realize that stress may increase the lines and wrinkles on skin? Stress releases the hormone cortisol, which increases the level of sugar in blood. Increased levels of sugar lead to glycation of the skin, which produces oxidative reactive species. Further, it damages the collagen content of the skin, which makes skin rigid and can lead to more lines and wrinkles.
Stress hormones may also reduce the production of hyaluronic acid, the natural moisturizer of the skin. To add to the woes, cortisol affects the ability of the skin to lock moisture within. More and more hydration seeps out of the skin leaving, it dry and dehydrated. Under these conditions, the enzymes that repair skin damage do not work effectively, making the damage more permanent.
Stress also produces epinephrine, another hormone that affects complexion. Epinephrine reduces blood flow to the skin, depriving it of nutrients and oxygen. This is one of the most common causes for a dull, lifeless, sallow complexion. Retaining good blood circulation to the skin is essential to have glowing skin. According to some experts, reduced blood flow to the skin may lead to cellulite formation, which, in turn, leads to a dimpled appearance of the skin.
Although stress cannot be avoided completely, it is easy to prevent or reduce the damage caused by stress on one's skin. Getting enough exercise, adequate sleep and rest, practicing stress management techniques, and taking good care of one's skin during stressful situations are essential to keep the skin glowing.