Acne is a common skin condition, especially among teenagers and young adults, and can be a reason for stress and embarrassment. But acne is more than just a nuisance; it is also a symptom of other underlying disorders, such as anxiety, stress, hormones, and genetics.
In this blog, we will discuss whether anxiety can cause acne and how to deal with it. Anxiety acne can be challenging to treat, but many options are available for managing depression-causing acne. Here's the lowdown on it.
What Is Acne?
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that results when hair follicles become clogged with oil, debris, dead skin cells, or bacteria. Acne affects the upper arms, face, neck, shoulders, and back. Anxiety does not directly cause acne. Depression and anxiety can lead to stress, resulting in acne breakouts.
According to studies, the severity of acne can be worsened by stress levels. When you have already got acne and are in a stressful situation, it seems that this is when your acne flares up.
Also Read : 6 Reasons For Acne
What Does Stress Acne/ Anxiety Acne Look Like?
Hormonal acne, which many women experience, appears mainly on the jawline, while stress acne resembles the acne breakout you might have experienced during adolescence. Stress causes an increase in oil production, and anxiety acne occurs on the greasy part of your face, such as the forehead, nose, and chin. Stress acne should not be confused with hormonal acne.
Due to the increased oil production, your skin will usually appear greasier and slightly more inflamed. Anxiety acne is characterized by red bumps, pus pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. If you have multiple abscesses at a time, it is a sign you are experiencing anxiety acne. Hormonal breakouts usually occur one at a time unless you are exposing your skin to a new product. Even if your skin isn't prone to breakouts, stress, depression, or anxiety can trigger acne breakouts. More extended periods of stress can exacerbate acne in people who are more susceptible to it and are more likely to suffer from it regularly.
How Does Anxiety Cause Acne?
Stress is not directly responsible for acne, but it significantly exacerbates various skin conditions, including acne and eczema. Stress negatively impacts our skin, as it impairs the wound healing mechanism of your skin, disrupts the skin's barrier function, and leads to moisture loss, causing dry skin conditions like dermatitis, rosacea, and eczema to worsen. Excess oil production, bacterial infection, skin inflammation, hormonal changes, and other factors contribute to stress acne. According to experts, our bodies produce certain hormones, such as cortisol, to prepare ourselves for stressful situations. These hormones increase oil production by stimulating the oil glands. The overproduction of oil can then clog pores causing acne.
Many experts believe there are three main ways in which skin and mind interact. There is a possibility that anxiety and depression can trigger an inflammatory response. This weakens the skin's barrier function and allows more irritants to enter the skin. Your skin loses moisture and heals slower. Inflammatory conditions can be triggered, making your skin more susceptible to infection.
Second, depression and anxiety can lead to changes in skincare habits. People who are depressed might not take care of their skin, such as not using the correct products or keeping up with hygiene. Anxious people might pick up and use too many products on their skin and acne breakouts. You might be using the wrong products or too many products, which can negatively affect your skin.
The perception of one's self can also be affected by stress and anxiety. You may perceive your skin differently when you are anxious or depressed. Experts believe that depression causing acne can be challenging to deal with. Sometimes, getting a zit on your face may be a big deal. People may avoid social events and work, worsening anxiety and depression.
Best Ways To Heal From Acne Caused By Anxiety?
Apart from stress, hormonal imbalance, genetics, and age, environmental factors such as hot and humid climates also play a vital role in acne breakouts. But anxiety and stress can exacerbate the situation. A more extended period of stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on your mind and body. During stress, you tend to ignore your healthy skincare habits, and your eating habits and sleep cycle also get affected. All these factors work together against your skin and body.
According to experts, stress acne can be treated with a combination of healthy lifestyles, following a regular skincare routine, and stress-reduction techniques. If your acne is due to stress, then regulating your body's stress level can help reduce acne breakouts. Let's dig deeper into how to treat acne caused by stress.
1. Healthy Lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle keeps your stress level and acne under control.
- Regular Exercise: Regular exercise can help to increase blood circulation, thus fortifying the skin cells with oxygen and vital nutrients.
- Good Sleep: Make sure you get at least 8-10 hours daily. Quality sleep helps to reduce the stress level of your body and accelerates your body's healing mechanism.
Also Read : Best Essential Oils For Sleep - Benefits And Precautions
- Eating Healthy: Caffeine and junk food can increase your body's stress level. Caffeine acts as a stimulant and diuretic in your body, leading to dehydration. Include lots of fresh fruits, green vegetables, pulses, and cereals in your diet as the antioxidants present in these foods, fight free radicals and protect your skin from damage.
2. Following A Regular Skincare Routine
To have healthy and problem-free skin, you must have a regular skincare routine.
- Wash Your Face Twice A Day: Wash your face twice daily with a mild cleanser. If you have oily skin, use a salicylic acid-based cleanser; if your skin is dry, use glycerine or ceramides-based cleaner.
- Go For Effective Anti-Acne Treatments: You can try OTC anti-acne skincare creams, ointments, and lotions containing glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid, which cleanse your skin gently.
- Deal With The Zit Right Away: Home remedies for dealing with acne include cleansing the affected area, steaming and applying a spot treatment, and then using antibiotic cream.
- Never Pop Or Prick Your Acne: During stressful times, it is a common practice to pop a pimple. Pricking your spot can lead to infection and worsen the situation.
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3. Stress Reducing Techniques
According to experts, many ways to reduce stress include yoga, meditation, and aromatherapy.
- Yoga: Yoga is a form of exercise that helps to reduce stress. It relaxes your mind and body, allowing you to attain inner peace. Practicing yoga will alleviate your mood, energize your body and control your stress level.
- Meditation: Meditation is a state of mind that improves your concentration and helps you stay at peace with your inner self.
- Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy helps manage stress by decreasing the level of stress hormones (cortisol) in your body. It also helps to relieve the symptoms of anxiety by relaxing your muscles, calming down your nervous system, and reducing your blood pressure. The enchanting aroma of specific essential oils such as Lavender, Orange, and Lemongrass oil can uplift your mood and reduce anxiety and stress.
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Also Read : What Is Aromatherapy - Benefits,Oils And More
According to experts, if you have acne-prone skin, use non-comedogenic skin care products which will not clog the pores of your skin, use minimal makeup and make sure to remove all your makeup before going to bed. After following these techniques, if your acne persists, don't hesitate to contact a dermatologist.
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