Can Stress Lead to Acne?

what are nodular acne

A common skin problem that plagues teenagers and many adults alike is acne. It is caused when excess oil, dirt or hair blocks the pores which can cause bumps and pimples. Many have found acne to be caused due to hormones, changes in diet, and genetics. But, acne can be triggered and made worse due to other factors like stress, dirt, pollution etc. In fact, during pressing times or when there’s too much on your mind, you might notice stress acne appearing. Read on to find out what causes stress pimples and how to fight them.

What is Stress Acne?

Does stress cause pimples? You might think that stress can cause pimples, but studies have found that no direct link exists between stress and acne. Stress cannot give rise to acne, however, if you do suffer from mild or severe acne, stress does play a role in slowing down the healing process. When the healing process for acne is slowed, acne remains on our skin for longer which is why it can multiply and become severe. So in a way, acne can be caused by stress, as it exacerbates the skin issue.

Acne caused by stress might look like a combination of blackheads, whiteheads, red bumps and pimples with pus.

Causes of Stress Acne

Stress is known to have a negative reaction on the human body. This means that stress can decrease the body’s ability to heal wounds, cuts, and acne. Stress can also cause several other physical and mental problems such as irregular menstrual cycles, sleep problems, weight fluctuations, depression, anxiety, blood pressure and more. Working in a stressful environment or not finding ways to reduce your stress levels can impair proper skin barrier functioning and cause acne to worsen.

Some Stress Acne Treatment Tips You Could Try

Take a doctor’s appointment:

Visit your dermatologist to understand your skin, acne and its causes. They might suggest retinol or benzoyl peroxide for moderate to severe acne cases.

Focus on stress reduction:

Practise mindful exercises to reduce stress. This could include meditation, yoga, journaling and seeking therapy if required.

Exercise regularly:

Add some physical movement to your day to reduce stress, release happy chemicals and also flush out the toxins in your body through sweat.

Choose a good acne-fighting skincare routine:

Use a gentle cleanser (preferably water-based instead of oil-based) to avoid inflammation or infection. Make sure to use ingredients like salicylic acid to fight acne while keeping your skin calm and nourished. Confused about how to develop an acne-fighting skincare routine? Choose makeO skin (formely skinnsi) acne away kit which contains a gentle foaming facewash, a pore-perfecting toner and a potent serum for acne-free skin.

Go through regular oil-control facials:

If you are suffering from oily skin and mild stress acne, you can choose makeO skin (formely skinnsi) oil-control facial to clean out your pores, excess sebum and dirt and give your oil-free, pure and nourished skin.

Consider acne treatment:

If you are facing moderate to severe acne, it can really hamper your self-esteem and reduce your confidence. Often times this can lead to permanent scarring too. Explore makeO skin (formely skinnsi) acne treatment which includes services like chemical peels and scar treatment for a more long-term acne solution.

Other Types of Acne

Other than stress acne, there are four main types of acne you should know about to treat your skin in the right way. Mild acne is when blackheads and whiteheads are commonly found on the skin along with a few zits. This can be treated with better hygiene and mild medication. Then there are the commonly seen pink and red pimples which can have pus inside and cause scarring and infection. There are found in moderate to severe acne. The most severe form of acne is the appearance of nodules and cysts which are painful, and large and cause scarring.

Now that you know how stress causes pimples, make sure to prioritise your mental health, reduce stressors in your environment, cut down on caffeine and focus on building a regular exercise routine and a nutritious meal plan. Try to sleep for at least 7 hours a day to help reduce stress too. All of these efforts will not only positively impact your stress levels but also improve your acne. While these are some generic helpful tips, it is best to first visit your dermat to get an expert opinion on your acne before beginning a treatment plan.

FAQs on Stress Acne

What does stress acne look like?

Stress acne looks very much like normal acne, only a bit worse. It is a combination of whiteheads, blackheads and pink-red bumps or pimples.

How do you get rid of stress acne?

Medications like retinoids, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are known to be efficient at fighting stress acne. You can also try to reduce your stress levels, sleep better and include healthy foods and exercise to your lifestyle to decrease acne too.

Can acne be caused by stress?

No, acne is not caused by stress. However, it is a factor that can trigger acne to worsen as stress has the ability to decrease the body’s power of healing acne.

Where do stress pimples appear?

They can appear anywhere on the face but stress pimples are known to appear the most on the oiliest areas which means the T-zone.

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