This Is What Happens To Your Body When You’re Stressed Out

There are a ton of expensive, high-tech ways to look a little younger and more vibrant, from retinol to botox to all manner of hold-up methods, including very convincing hair transplants. But not all of these measures have to be expensive. You can benefit exponentially from daily SPF application, adequate hydration, or even a good night’s sleep. And right on top of the things you can do to prolong your youth and improve your overall appearance is to reduce the total amount of stress in your life.

Of course, sometimes it’s easier said than done. But while you can’t immediately stop a global pandemic or unilaterally improve morale in the workplace, those aren’t the only stressors affecting skin, hair, and all. processes in your body. NYC board-certified dermatologist Michele Green has multiple types of daily stressors. The biggest culprits she notes include navigating traffic (like being stuck in it), day-to-day logistics (from events to grocery shopping), environmental pollution (like smoke and car fumes), Sleepless. There are very few ways to reduce stress, and it can have a big impact on your life — including, yes, superficial things.

Read on for all the ways they and other stressors can affect your appearance. By the way: We don’t spell this as add to the stress in your life — it’s even more important for you to recognize the message that feeling stressed is hard on the body and it deserves to be taken as seriously as any other health condition. For her part, Dr. Green recommends combating stress by getting enough sleep and treating yourself, whether that means a massage, luxurious bath, overnight stay, vacation, pampering facial skin or just increase the heart rate and clear the mind. with a long walk or run.

How does stress affect your appearance?

1. Stress increases fine lines and wrinkles

Cortisol, the stress hormone, can break down collagen and elastin in your skin. Since these are the factors that keep the skin elastic and firm, stress effectively leads to more permanent fine lines and wrinkles.

2. Stress encourages hyperpigmentation — and gray hair

One day, you may realize that hyperpigmentation has come your way. It increases exponentially with age, sun exposure and – you guessed it – stress. Regarding hair, stress can cause the melanocytes in the hair follicles to lose their color and turn gray. And for skin, the opposite effect can happen: You may get unrelenting patches of dark or rough skin.

3. Stress causes acne

There’s a reason a stressful moment, day, or week often leads to a flare or Saturday: Cortisol spikes in the body also increase oil production in the skin, increasing the odds of clogged pores ( or 7).

4. Stress weakens the skin’s ability to heal and repair wounds

Along with the first negative effect on the skin (all lines and wrinkles), compromised resilience also leads to the destruction of the skin’s barrier functions, says Green. “As a result, the skin is more susceptible to damage by free radicals, allergens, and other environmental factors from experiencing stress,” she adds. Not to mention, it needs a significant impact on moisture retention and thus…

5. Stress dries out the skin

You may need to increase your use of hyaluronic acid and moisturizer if you’re too stressed, as it’s harder for your skin to retain moisture. One of its core functions is to keep moisture inside the skin, and without this ability, you are prone to dry patches and many of the side effects mentioned above (like wrinkles).

6. Stress increases hair loss

As many of us realized in the early days of the pandemic (and beyond), stressors as simple as that virus can cause the body to experience a state of telogen effluvium, or telogen effluvium. is “shock loss,” in which an excessive number of hair follicles go into the early resting phase. This causes them to shed in greater amounts, which can be alarming when you’re standing on top of the sink and notice four or five ropes in the sink at a time. Yes, it usually regrows within a few months, but Green notes that hair can thin out temporarily. And, if you’re already prone to shedding (like standard male pattern baldness), it can also accelerate the shedding process more permanently, if the hair follicles are too weak to regrow hair. Finally, Green notes, “Patients under stress often experience a type of hair loss called alopecia areata, in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles on the scalp. However, this is usually impermanent and those hair follicles will soon regrow hair once the stress subsides.

7. Stress leads to weaker fibers

“With increased or constant stress, hair is more prone to breakage,” says Green. This is due to a decrease in blood flow and nutrient delivery to the follicles, resulting in slower and weaker growth at the root — and this also only exacerbates persistent hair loss.

8. Stress leads to puffiness under the eyes and dark circles

Whether the cortisol in your body is messing with your skin’s ability to retain water or resiliency, or both, the result can be looser skin around the eyes and a reduction in the amount of fat that accumulates usually above the area. that skin. Usually, cold compresses, cool showers, or midday naps can’t fix it, but it gets harder and harder to fix as the problem gets more and more persistent. Ditto for dark circles, which can be prevented with proper rest, blood flow and nutrient delivery to this thin and vulnerable area of ​​skin.

9. Stress tans skin

More stress leads to reduced blood flow, resulting in less delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the skin. And one more effect of all this is duller, less luminous skin. It’s a hard thing to describe, but you’ll know when you see it: Skin looks dull, lackluster, and possibly even discolored. (Not a bad time to add Vitamin C to your skincare routine.)

10. Stress causes dandruff

As mentioned, stress can lead to an increase in oil production throughout the skin (including on the scalp) and can slow down cell turnover. This is a perfect formula for removing old, dead skin cells in their prime, in an environment full of fungal outbreaks. This, of course, can lead to peeling. This Is What Happens To Your Body When You’re Stressed Out

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