Stress/Anxiety and its Effect on Skin

We are living in unprecedented times. COVID-19 has changed our lives forever. We are all trying to cope in our own way and we may not realize what effect the stress and anxiety is having on our bodies.

With furloughs, layoffs, questions about school and general concern about making it through this time period it is no wonder stress and anxiety levels are at their highest right now. We all know that stress can take a toll on you physically and psychologically, but what is less talked about is the fact that it also can lead to skin problems.


Stress and YOUR Skin


When a person becomes stressed, the level of the body’s stress hormone (cortisol) rises. This in turn causes an increase in oil production, which can lead to oily skin, acne and other related skin problems. Even patients with skin that is not affected by acne tend to develop temporary stress-related acne due to increased oil production.

Doctors have proven that stress has a negative effect on the barrier function of the skin, resulting in water loss that inhibits the skin’s ability to repair itself after an injury.

Now imagine if you have any pre-existing skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, or eczema. Stress and anxiety will only exacerbate these conditions.



In addition to managing your diet appropriately, ways to manage skin care issues include:

  • Exercise – (you knew this list would start with this right?) it is proven to help release endorphins in the body that can reduce stress.

  • Avoid hot showers or baths – they can aggravate pre-existing skin conditions. Hot water strips the skin of its natural oils and healthy bacteria.

  • Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from sun exposure.

  • Drink LOTS of water!




It is normal to feel stressed or anxious during this time. It may be especially hard for people who already manage feelings of anxiety or emotional distress. The CDC provides information and resources that may be helpful to you or someone you know. Visit their website: Click Here.


If the link doesn’t work here is the web address:


Please, stay safe and be well…

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