The modern lifestyle and erratic schedules coupled with the pandemic outbreak are indeed a testimony of the fact that stress has become the new normal. Stress can be simply understood as the feeling of being unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure and feeling distressed or anxious. However, something that often goes unnoticed is that stress is not just a mental health condition but also has an impact on our body at a physical level. It is not only linked to heart and brain-related medical conditions but also has a severe effect on our skin and hair health. Excessive hair loss, deterioration in the hair or skin quality, skin dryness, eczema or psoriatic patches on the skin, etc. can be signs of us being stressed. The need is to not only treat such symptoms but to also identify and deal with the underlying root causes. Here’s all you need to know how stress can affect your skin and hair from Dr. Sejal Saheta, MD, DNB- Dermatology & Venereology, Founder & CMO, InUrSknm, Skin & Hair Clinic
Stress impacts our skin and hair health
When we feel pressurized, stress hormones (like cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline) are released which can cause new skin and hair issues or cause an existing condition to flare up. Such hormones can cause an increase in the oil production in the skin
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glands which can further lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts. Stress also weakens our immune system which causes our skin to become reactive and sensitive. Such sensitive skin is easily subject to issues such as eczema, urticaria, psoriasis and rosacea. A very common effect of stress is the lack of quality sleep which further affects our skin health. Sleep helps rejuvenate the skin by increasing collagen levels. Hence, in the absence of quality sleep, one can experience issues such as under-eye dark circles, dry skin, acne etc. Hair loss too is a very common and visible symptom of stress. Other hair conditions one may experience when they undergo stress can be premature greying of hair or bald patches on the scalp. Stress affects the protein levels in our skin which in turn can be responsible for fine lines and wrinkles on our skin and brittleness of our nails.
Breaking free from stress
To overcome stress, the age-old magic trick of a healthy mind and body is required. With a few simple modifications in our lifestyle, one can seamlessly achieve this goal and deal with the pressure effectively.
Happy foods to the rescue
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It is essential that we consume a balanced diet packed with essential macro and micro nutrients. Ensuring a diet that is healthy and consists of a variety of foods not only boosts our skin and hair health but also strengthens our immune system. Eating ‘happy foods’ such as dark chocolate, whole grains, nuts, citrus fruits, berries, probiotics, etc. releases happy hormones and reduces stress.
Developing a sleep regimen
Following a routine of sleeping as well as waking up at a fixed time and getting adequate sleep of 6-8 hours. Daily is extremely important. It ensures adequate time for our skin to recover and also boosts our immune system.
Following a skin and hair care routine
Gone are the days when the skincare and hair care routine was solely done for grooming purposes! In the present times as the awareness about the importance
Presently, having a skin and hair care regimen is one of the most vital steps for dealing with stress. This small act of self-care helps maintain skin and hair health as well as releases happy hormones that further aid in coping with stress.
Steering clear of drinking and smoking
While under stress, alcohol and smoking are the preferred escape routes for a lot of people; we need to bid adieu to this habit! Drinking and smoking provide us with a temporary illusion of relief from our troubles but render a long-lasting negative impact on our bodies. They can even lead to the amplification of the stress symptoms which could further deteriorate our health.
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Whatever physical impact stress has been inflicting on your skin and hair, it is imperative that you consult a dermatologist for such troubles. Using home remedies or over-the-counter solutions without any knowledge can only worsen the situation. Dermatologists can easily identify the symptoms of stress on your skin and hair
and can help you not only with these symptoms but also establish long term skin and hair care routines that work specifically for you. Gone are the days when terms such as stress, pressure, or anxiety were shunned and dismissed. In the present times, as the awareness about the importance of mental health is gathering traction.
People are gradually realizing that seeking help is not something to be ashamed of. Rather it is indicative of the fact that you are well-informed and wise enough to take timely action to deal with issues and improve your health.
The first step to fight stress is to acknowledge it and make efforts to understand the root cause of the same. Only then, can we deal with stress and the symptoms it shows on our body. One needs to ensure that they have good lifestyle choices which help manage stress. Lastly, one should freely seek help from medical professionals. These therapists and doctors not only help manage our mental health but also its symptoms on our physical health
With inputs from Dr. Sejal Saheta, MD, DNB- Dermatology & Venereology, Founder & CMO, InUrSknm, Skin & Hair Clinic