Everybody feels stressed from time to time, but when it becomes chronic, it can have serious consequences on your health.
Stress can also leave a mark on your face. Dry skin, wrinkles, and acne are just some of the ways that it can manifest itself. Keep reading to find out what other effects stress can have on your face.
Chronic stress can show on your face in two ways. First, the hormones that your body releases when you feel stress can lead to physiological changes that negatively impact your skin. Second, feeling stressed may also lead to bad habits such as grinding your teeth or biting your lips.
Read on to learn more about the specific ways stress may show on your face.
When you feel stressed, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol causes a part of your brain known as the hypothalamus to produce a hormone called corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH). CRH is thought to stimulate oil release from
Although it’s widely believed that stress causes acne, there are only a few studies that have examined the connection.
Bags under your eyes
Bags under the eyes are characterized by swelling or puffiness beneath your eyelids. They become more common with age since the supporting muscles around your eyes weaken. Sagging skin caused by a loss of elasticity can also contribute to eye bags.
The stratum corneum is the outer layer of your skin. It contains protein and lipids that play a critical role in keeping your skin cells hydrated. It also acts as a barrier that protects the skin underneath. When your stratum corneum isn’t working the way it should, your skin can become dry and itchy.
According to a
The review also mentions that several human studies have found that interview stress and stress from “marital disruption” can slow down the skin barrier’s ability to heal itself, too.
Stress has the potential to weaken your immune system. A weakened immune system can lead to an imbalance of bacteria in your gut and skin known as dysbiosis. When this imbalance occurs on your skin, it can lead to redness or a rash.
Stress causes changes to the proteins in your skin and reduces its elasticity. This loss of elasticity can contribute to wrinkle formation.
Stress may also lead to repeated furrowing of your brow that may also contribute to the formation of wrinkles.
Graying hair and hair loss
Common wisdom says stress can make your hair go gray. However, it’s only recently that scientists have figured out why. Cells called melanocytes produce a pigment called melanin that gives your hair its color.
Chronic stress can also disrupt your hair’s growing cycle and lead to a condition called telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium causes a larger than normal amount of hair to fall out.
Other ways stress affects your face
Other ways stress can affect your face include:
- Tooth damage. Many people adopt the habit of teeth grinding when they feel stressed or anxious. Over time, this can cause permanent damage to your teeth.
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). TMD is a group of health problems that affect the joint where your jaw connects to your skull. It can be caused by repeated clenching of your teeth.
- Face flushing. Stress can cause you to change your breathing habits. These breathing habits can cause your face to flush temporarily.
- Sore lips. Many people chew their lips or the inside of their mouths when they feel stressed.
Some causes of stress like a sudden death in the family or an unexpected job loss are unavoidable. However, finding ways to cope with stress and minimize avoidable stress can help you better manage it.
Some ways you can
- Schedule time for relaxing activities. Scheduling time for activities that make you feel relaxed may help you reduce stress if you feel overwhelmed by your busy schedule.
- Maintain good lifestyle habits. Continuing to eat a healthy diet as well as getting plenty of sleep will help your body better manage stress.
- Stay active. Exercise can help you lower levels of your stress hormones and give you some time to take your mind off the cause of your stress.
- Talk to others. Talking to a friend, family member, or mental health professional helps many people deal with stress.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. Persisted use of drugs and alcohol can cause additional problems to your stress.
Stress is an unavoidable part of life. However, when stress becomes chronic it can leave a lasting impression on your face. Acne, gray hair, and dry skin are just a few of the ways that stress may show itself.
Minimizing avoidable causes of stress in your life and learning techniques to manage stress can help you fight against these signs of premature aging.