We become accustomed to feeling overwhelmed as we handle demanding jobs, complicated schedules, and never-ending to-do lists.
But, as Sharleen St. Surin-Lord, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Washington, DC, notes, just because you’ve learned to deal with stress cognitively doesn’t mean your body is convinced. And the repercussions are frequently seen on your face.
You’ve learned to cope with stress if you have a tough job, are always on deadline, or travel frequently. Your body, on the other hand, will always speak to you, and your skin will always reveal itself. ” Dr. St. Surin-Lord, an integrative dermatologist, agrees.
She frequently hears from people who claim they “don’t feel pressured,” but when she delves a little deeper, she discovers that their job is extremely demanding, they’re not sleeping well, and keeping up with their children’s schedules is challenging.
“‘So you’re stressed,’ I’ll say. You’ve learned to deal with it and cope, but the fact that your seborrheic dermatitis is so severe that you have a snowfall on your shoulders with flakes indicates that you’re stressed, “she explains.
Stress creates a spike of hormones (namely, adrenaline and cortisol) in the body, which induces inflammation. If you have inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis, stress might exacerbate them. You may also notice concerns you aren’t used to, such as hives.
If you’re having these problems, there are two options for treatment. To address what’s wrong with your skin, you should first see a doctor.
“You’re going to require some treatment, like topical steroid creams or lotions, if your skin is breaking out, your eczema is worsening, or your psoriasis is worsening due to stress,” says Dr. St. Surin-Lord.
You might need to take an antihistamine if you’re breaking out in hives every other day or every day. I also urge you to contact an allergist to determine if there is anything that can be done to alleviate the situation. “
Take charge of your stress, not just treat the symptoms of it.”If you take away the [medicine] after two weeks and the stressor is still there, you’ll break out all over again,” explains Dr. St. Surin-Lord.
She recommends finding hobbies that bring you delight, such as walking and meditation. She’s even had people fill out Family and Medical Leave Act documents in order to take a few weeks off work to repair their skin in extreme circumstances. “And let me tell you, their skin was clear after two weeks off,” she continues.
If your skin is acting up, take a step back and assess your stressors. Stress management differs from merely learning to cope with it, and you’ll need to spend some time figuring out the former in order to fully cure your irritated skin.