effects of stress on skin

Between work responsibilities, deadlines, bills to pay, and other activities, everyone feels stressed at times. Stress can have a negative impact on many areas of your life, including your skin. A dermatologist in northern Colorado can provide personalized skin treatments, especially to skin that has seen the effects of stress. Here are five ways stress affects your skin. It’s important to note that everyone handles stress differently, so how one person’s skin reacts to stress could be totally different than how your body reacts. However, there is a scientific link between stress and your skin that leads to these common conditions.

Breakouts and Acne

Stress changes your body’s chemical balance, which can add more hormones and lead to breakouts. Being stressed can cause your body to release more cortisol, which is the hormone that contributes to acne. Stress can also make your skin oilier. Aside from the chemical considerations, stress often makes many people fidget and touch their face more, which can clog pores and lead to breakouts.

Aggravated Skin Conditions

If you have an existing skin condition, chances are that stress will make it worse. People with eczema often report their condition getting worse during stressful times, just like people who are prone to rashes or hives tend to see more flareups when they are stressed. That’s because stress causes a chemical imbalance, which can lead to inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s way of combatting a threat, but the increased chemicals can cause the skin to overreact with conditions it may already have. An existing condition can also make the skin extremely sensitive, which means that even the smallest change in hormone levels can lead to major changes with the skin.

Dry Skin

Many people experience clammy hands or excess sweating when they’re stressed. That is due to the increase in adrenaline and cortisol, which cause us to sweat to get rid of excess water. Sweating can lead to dehydration and can dry the skin out, leading to patches of extremely dry skin. This is especially noticeable in people who already have eczema or are prone to dry skin. To combat dry skin, make sure you are applying moisturizer every day, even when you’re stressed. Drink lots of water to balance what your skin is losing.

Aggravated Scalp and Hair

The scalp is also skin that should be taken care of. When the body is stressed, many people notice that their scalp is either dryer or oiler than normal, depending on the chemicals their body released. Changing hormone levels can lead to redness and itchiness on the scalp.


Many people start to see patches of redness on their skin when they’re feeling stressed. In some cases, the redness only lasts a few minutes, but in other cases it can last for days. Stress can cause the body to take short breaths, which can limit the amount of oxygen that’s getting through to the skin. Redness can also be a sign of dryness or rashes from other existing skin conditions. If you notice your skin becoming flushed, practice mindful breathing to relax.

If you start to see the effects of stress on your skin, try to calm down and remove as much stress as possible. This can take careful action; many people turn to meditation, walks outside, or time alone as a way to calm down when they are stressed. Exercise, get enough sleep, and maintain a healthy diet. If you feel stressed, don’t overlook your skincare routine. It’s more important to wash and exfoliate your skin when you’re stressed than it is when you aren’t stressed.

A dermatologist in northern Colorado can also provide personalized treatment options, especially if at-home remedies don’t lead to improvements. Stress is inevitable, but you can take control of how it impacts your skin.