Stress does not directly cause acne. However, studies have shown that if you already are troubled by acne, then stress can make it worse. Research has found that any injury or damage to skin, which includes acne, will be much slower in healing when a person is under stress.
So why does stress lead to a flare- up of spots?
When we are stressed, our body responds by increasing the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is a vital hormone for helping us to survive when under pressure. It boosts our energy supplies by increasing the amount of glucose (blood sugar) in our bloodstream, enhancing the brain’s use of glucose and also increases the availability of substances that repair our tissues. However, cortisol also increases the oil production within our skin. This leads to the pores becoming more easily blocked and this then results in spots.
For many people who suffer from acne this can lead to a vicious circle – the stress causes a worsening of skin health which in turn causes more stress and so on.
So, what can be done to address stress?
Acknowledging that you are stressed, either just in response to the day-to day challenges of life or in combination with concerns about your skin is a logical first step.
Making simple lifestyle changes such as:
ensure you get enough sleep,
be physically active and take some daily exercise
undertake some relaxation activities (such as meditation, deep breathing yoga or massage)
make time for some fun hobbies
make time for your important relationships
eat healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables (avoiding excess sugar)
The aim of these strategies is to cut into and potentially reverse the vicious circle of stress. This approach along with a good skincare regime using clinically effective ingredients and the LUSTRE ClearSkin Blue Light devices can make a significant impact on both the quality of your skin and your well-being.
Guest blog contributed by Dr Sam Robson, medical director at Temple Clinic, a specialist skin care and acne clinic in Scotland, United Kingdom.
“Using three simple techniques which are outlined in more detail in our blog - Combatting Day to Day stress, through affirmations, reframing and gratitude - can help change a negative mindset to one that is more positive and calm.”
~ Dr Sam Robson