Stress and Acne

Having acne breakouts when you’re under a lot of pressure or stress is rather common. Emotions and stress can have a great effect on the condition of your body. Anger causes blood to rush to the head and the heart to beat faster. Panic can cause dizziness, nausea, chest pains, and heart palpitations. Stress can lead to rapid heartbeat, anxiety attacks, and loss of appetite. It can even contribute to heart disease and cancer. Stress and other emotions can also affect your skin.

Stress stimulates the adrenal glands. These glands produce the hormone cortisone, which stimulates the sebaceous gland to produce more oil—and that, of course, helps set the stage for acne problems. Stress also lowers the body’s resistance to bacteria and viruses, by causing the disease-fighting cells of the immune system to work less efficiently. These lowered immune defenses leave you easy prey to colds and other illnesses and can also contribute to acne breakouts by letting the acne bacteria multiply unhindered.

People who are worried or under pressure often absentmindedly pick at their pimples. But this can be harmful, increasing the likelihood of infection and in the long run making the acne longer lasting, more severe, and more likely to result in scarring. Realizing that you pick at your pimples and forcing yourself to stop can be very helpful in clearing up acne.

Stress can never be completely avoided, but controlling the amount of stress in your life can affect your whole body’s health, including that of the skin. You can do many things to reduce stress. Regular exercise helps to release tensions instead of letting them build up inside. It’s important to get enough sleep and be well rested. When your body is tired, your resistance is greatly lowered. Proper vitamin intake from a balanced diet (or vitamin supplements) is also important for maintaining the body’s resistance. Some research has shown that proper levels of vitamins A,B,C, and E and the minerals zinc and selenium can help keep the body’s defenses strong.

Countless psychological factors contribute to stress—and can contribute to acne. When you set impossible goals for yourself, you may be causing yourself unnecessary stress. Bottling up things that bother you can also cause stress to build up. It’s almost always better to talk things out than to keep them inside.

Now you know some of the causes of acne. You should have a better idea of things to avoid in order to minimize acne problems. But more than likely, even if you avoid all the possible acnegenic factors, still you’ll have some acne. If your acne is severe, you should not delay, but see a doctor as soon as possible. The earlier you start treating severe acne, the less likely you are to have complications—such as scars.

If you’re like most people, though, you’ll probably want to try to tackle your acne problem on your own. But when you go to the drugstore, you will find a confusing assortment of acne remedies. They all claim to be good for acne. How do you decide which is best for you? You’ve already learned what acne is and how pimples start and progress. Now you need to understand how acne medications work.

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