Is stress getting to your skin?

Wellness instead of stress. Hand turns a cube and changes the word
Source: By Dmitry Demidovich/ Shutterstock

Most of us might not know this but when we are stressed, most of our organs show it including the skin. According to experts, stress is capable of exerting various side effects on our skin wellness. One can face issues such as acne, eczema, and whatnot. But this is not it. Studies have shown that skin comprises complex ways to produce its own stress-inducing signals, which can then traverse all the way to the brain and propagate stress response. Haven’t you ever noticed this connection between the brain and your skin when you are stressed? Haven’t you ever gotten so stressed out that you start sweating? Well, this is the stress response. 

Ways in Which Stress Impacts Your Skin

Stress can cause breakouts

Stress can lead to breakouts as cortisol, which is the hormone produced by the body under stress, tends to produce more oil. An increase in the level of oil in the skin can lead to pore-clogging, which causes breakouts. Acne, stress-related rashes, hives are some of the skin breakouts caused due to stress. 

Stress can use bags under the eyes

Swollen or puffed eyes are another common side effect of stress. Sagging skin is mainly due to uneven pigmentation, reduced elasticity, sleeplessness, and so on. 

Stress can cause hair loss

Stress can lead to hair loss, which is again a reason for many to get stressed out, creating an adverse follicular feedback loop. When the body is stressed out, it impacts the immune system, prompting it to attack various parts of the body including hair follicles. The auto-immune response refers to alopecia areata – a type of hair loss. This is not the only type of stress-induced hair loss; there are various others such as telogen effluvium.

Stress can disrupt the epidermal barrier

Stress can damage the top layer of the skin, which is responsible for maintaining moisture and protecting from harmful microbes. This disruption can prolong skin repair and also lead to irritated skin. 

De-stressing for the sake of good skin

We now know the connection between stress and our skin, and that it is a close one. Therefore, it is important for us to de-stress our life to attain good, healthy skin. Some of the ways to do that include:

  • Practicing yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and various other exercises that help relax our body and mind
  • Getting the right amount of sleep every night, which accounts for around 7 to 9 hours of sleep
  • Investing time in hobbies and activities that trigger self-activation. Taking time for yourself and doing something that gives you pleasure helps lower down the stress levels
  • Seeking expert advise for good skin for instance it is always good to consult with your dermatologist from time to time to know the health of your skin
  • Saying no to all that gives you stress because it is okay to set your limit and boundaries to lower down the stress 
  • Incorporating healthy lifestyle habits including a well-balanced diet also helps in regulating the stress hormones in the body.


While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. 

Do note that any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


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