What Is Stress Acne – And How Can You Get Rid Of It? Here’s What The Experts Say

A fresh, naturally glowing skin is what every person dreams of. However, with all the stress of a million different things, our skin doesn’t cooperate. Here is how to get glowing skin that is free of stress, acne, and scarring.

Stress has become much more prevalent nowadays, thanks to Covid-19. Adapting to life in a changing world with a lifestyle that allows bare minimum physical contact is in itself a stressful experience.

Unfortunately for us, our body isn’t made to take a pile of underlying stress. Hence, it is no surprise stress leads to a nasty breakout that tells the tale of our inner turmoil. With the effect, we ponder, “What is stress acne?”

Health shared an interestingly informative piece, summing it up in one line; “There’s a reason why your breakouts happen at the worst time.”

What Is Stress Acne

It is often confused with the two uninvited guests that show up on your cheek or jaw the night before a big test. However, stress acne impacts long-term, underlying stress that couples with a more recent inner turmoil.

Acne in itself is a considerable hindrance in being confident with our looks. Many people can have extremely severe breakouts that are painful and leave scars. 

It is a chronic, inflammatory condition that causes pimples or blackheads on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, or upper arms.

It is a skin disease that involves the hair glands at the base of hair follicles. Although it is not dangerous, it can leave scars. 

It affects 3 in every 4 people aged 11 to 30 years. At least 85 percent of US-based people experience acne between the ages of 12 to 24 years. 

Acne is deeper than the physical manifestation of pimples, especially when one is already experiencing a heightened degree of stress

Stress acne doesn’t have its classification. Stress-induced acne is just one of the many ways our physical body might be reacting to our emotions

Risk Factors:

  • Genetics
  • The menstrual cycle
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Hot and humid climates
  • Using oil-based makeup
  • Squeezing pimples

What Causes Stress Acne

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, acne affects about 50 million Americans a year, making it the most common skin condition. However, understanding what causes it in each person is unique.

Human skin has pores that connect to oil glands under the skin, with these glands produce an oily liquid called sebum. Follicles connect the glands to the pores. The sebum carries dead skin cells through follicles to the surface of the skin.

Pimple is the result of clogging of the pore. The follicle, sebum, and dead skin cells form a plug that gets infected by bacteria; this results in swelling.

Additionally, hormones play a major role in acne. A rise in androgen level causes the oil glands under the skin to grow. Consequently, it results in the formation of more sebum. This excessive sebum causes the breakdown of pore walls, resulting in bacterial growth.

However, it is important to understand that stress can’t directly cause acne. Although if you already have acne, stress can make it worse.

Notably, the key role in breakouts resulting from stress comes from the stress hormone cortisol. Emotional stress triggers the production of cortisol. High levels of this hormone lead to a systemic response.

Furthermore, this response can alter immunity, suppress digestive, reproductive systems, and growth processes. It also disrupts the sebum balance by disrupting the hormones that regulate it. 

The simple rule is: More oil production means more clogged pores which means more breakouts.

Stress acne is most common in the oiliest regions like the T-zone.

What Do the Experts Say?

Allison K. Truong, who is an MD, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), and dermatologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center California. 

From her observations, she stated that generally, stress acne is a flare or worsening of preexisting acne in response to a psychological stressor.

Moreover, stress acne more commonly shows up for people who have a history or current acne diagnosis, says Dr.Truong. 

According to Dr. Lamb, when someone is under chronic stress, it might be more challenging to get the acne under control because of the frequent flare-ups that happen over time.

However, if the breakout is from more of an acute stressor, like a family member’s death or illness, she estimates that the acne could take about four to six weeks to clear up.

On top of the emotional stress, other types of stress, including dehydration or lack of sleep, which itself can be due to stress, should also be considered.

How to Get Rid of Acne

Furthermore, after recognizing the acne as stress-induced, the next step is to get rid of it. Many people go for home remedies, while others rely on medication. What is the proper way? How to get rid of acne that is a result of “stress”?

Here are a few ways to do precisely that:

  • Maintain a proper skincare routine
  • De-stress through meditation and yoga
  • Products with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol
  • Pimple patches can also work as a spot treatment for acne
  • Moreover, steroid injection to reduce the pain and inflammation of cystic breakouts

Ways to Prevent Breakouts

What is better than treating acne? Preventing it. Following the tips mentioned below will do just that:

  • Stick to a creamy cleanser
  • A soothing moisturizer (with hyaluronic acid and ceramides)
  • A zinc-based mineral sunscreen
  • Doing light exercises regularly to de-stress
  • Washing your face gently and not more than two times per day
  • Also, using OTC products that help reduce oils on your skin
  • Keeping things off your face as much as possible that may contain oils like your hands, hair, or telephone
  • Additionally, wearing loose clothing that reduces sweating
  • not squeezing pimples

Todays Trending Topics

How to Get Glowing Skin

Glowing, rosy skin is a dream and so trendy right now. However, achieving this is not an easy task. 

Want clear, glowing, smooth skin without the use of “dewy makeup” or beauty filters? Incorporate a few things into your beauty regime, and you’re on the right path:

  • A balanced diet with a good supply of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and zinc and a low glycemic load
  • Apply tea tree oil 
  • Drink green tea and apply used green tea bags on the skin after they’ve cooled down
  • A few spritzes of rosewater will go a long way
  • Moisturize your skin with a quality moisturizer, preferably that which contains aloe vera
  • Wrap 1-2 ice cubes in a piece of cloth and gently rub on oily areas to open pores

Final Word

Even though solutions to how to get glowing skin and how to get rid of acne have surfaced, the greatest impact will become visible by our attitude.

Having a positive outlook and accepting yourself however you are; is the real way to get rid of acne and achieve skin goals.

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