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How Stress Affects Your Skin: Rashes, Bumps, Aging

Yes, it’s true; stress can cause skin problems. As if stress wasn’t bad enough, it has to make itself visible on the outside as well. Studies have linked a person’s emotional health and the negative factors of stress and anxiety to an increase in skin, hair or nail problems. Aside from starting dermatological problems, it can also worsen pre-existing conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea or acne.

There’s even a name for stress-induced skin problems: psychodermatology. It’s a field that addresses the impact of a person’s emotional state, on their skin health. Aside from the direct factors that affect the skin negatively, patients that are under stress tend to neglect or abuse their skin by picking scars, biting nails and not keeping up with hygienically skin-friendly practices.

When dermatologists treat psychodermatological issues, usually the skin clears up quicker than the stress does, however stress levels decrease as skin returns to its natural and healthy state.

When a person is under stress, the body is reacting to any changes that require a response, whether it’s a physical, mental or emotional response. Stress is a perfectly normal part of life and the body is designed to handle certain levels, however, when it starts disrupting a person’s daily life and/or health, a doctor should intervene.

According to WebMD, 43 percent of adults suffer from adverse health effects that stem from stress. The natural response of stress causes adrenaline to increase heart rate, elevate blood pressure and boost energy supplies. Cortisol is the main stress hormone responsible for increase sugars into the bloodstream. The brain uses the cortisol to increase substances that repair tissues that were lost during the flight-or-fight response. Long-term stress and the overexposure to cortisol can disrupt many body processes and create problems including, anxiety, depression digestive problems, heart disease, sleep issues, weight gain, and memory impairment. This makes it significantly important to manage stress with relaxation, meditation, and the development of healthy habits such as running.

About author - Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD, FAACS, is the founder and medical director of the New York Cosmetic, Skin, & Laser Surgery Center. Dr. Rokhsar is a graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Rokhsar is double board certified in dermatology and micrographic dermatologic surgery, being one of the few select dermatologists in the country who is also fellowship trained in laser surgery. A researcher and innovator, Dr. Rokhsar is the creator of the non-surgical nose job and has been instrumental in the research and development of laser systems such as the Fraxel, CO2, Mirady, Vbeam, Themitight, and Ulthera devices. An Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, Dr. Rokhsar actively teaches the cosmetic dermatology clinic to the resident at Mount Sinai. An expert injector of fillers, and a trainer for many companies, patients fly in from around the world to see Dr. Rokhsar in his Garden City and Manhattan offices in New York.

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