There is a relationship between the skin, mind, and gut. When the brain perceives stress, it can slow down digestion in your stomach. The longer the stress lasts, the more impact it can have on your metabolism. And when your metabolism is slowed, it can affect the bacteria in your gut. A recent study found that high levels of stress can alter gut bacteria, much like a high-fat diet.
“The slowed motility allows for an overgrowth of unhealthy strains of bacteria, and the natural balance of gut microbes is disrupted, leading to dysbiosis.”
“This, in turn, causes the lining of your intestines to become ‘leaky,’ or more permeable, which triggers a body-wide cascade of inflammation.”
And as a result of the internal inflammation, the skin may escape in acne or experience flare-ups of psoriasis or eczema. Because these inflammatory cells have increased in number, it can trigger skin conditions that you are prone to.
Whenever our body feels it’s under stress, our fight-or-flight response kicks in. As a result, we experience a spike in adrenaline and cortisol.
An increase in adrenaline causes us to sweat more. It activates the eccrine glands, the sweat glands, this can cause you to become dehydrated because you're losing tons more water at a faster pace. If you’re not replenishing your body with lots of water, your skin can dry out.
Flare-ups(such as Eczema)
When our body experiences stress, it releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into the system(chemical messages that trigger certain physiological responses) in our bodies. For instance, adrenaline increases the gut’s rate and elevates vital signs. Cortisol increases sugar within the bloodstream. When the body produces an excessive amount of cortisol in terms of the skin, the system is weakened, causing an inflammatory response like eczema or a psoriasis flare-up. This factor is particularly relevant for individuals who are subject to these skin conditions, as stress can “increase or unmask those conditions.”
The shift in hormone levels such as cortisol mainly caused by stress can also be a contributing factor to pesky acne breakouts.
Stress stimulates the brain to supply a selected set of hormones that prepare the body for a stressful environment. As a side effect, these hormones rev up activity of sebaceous glands within the skin, resulting in above normal levels of oil, blockages within the pores, and acne breakouts.
When it involves your scalp and hair, there are a few of ways stress can manifest. Some people might find their hair is oilier or drier than usual during times of stress, depending on how their bodies react to the shift in hormone levels. Your scalp and your hair can feel the effects of internal stress. Some individuals might experience flare-ups of seborrheic eczema, a cousin to psoriasis, and dandruff. The condition could end in redness and flaking of the scalp. In some cases, stress can even cause hair loss. Hair often starts shedding even after minor strains.
The same way your body stops producing hair in times of prolonged stress, it also stops making nails. Nails aren't necessary for survival, so when it is time for the body to distribute energy for healings, nails aren’t a top priority. Additionally, nails can become brittle or start peeling during times of stress.
Who knew burnout (stress) COULD cause so much internal and external damage! Now that you know, I want to provide a few ways to ease the effects of stress on your skin.
1.Get enough sleep. I can’t emphasize this enough. You need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep for your body to be properly relaxed.
2.Regular Exercise. Notice how I did not just say exercise? It needs to be regular! It is good for your health and skin.
3.Practice stress management techniques such as breathing, yoga, meditation and even praying(trust me it helps).
4.Learn to say “NO.”Easy as it sounds some of us are so good at bending over for others that we forget to set healthy boundaries for ourselves.
5.Take walks regularly for a renewal of mind.
6.And lastly, a good bath along with a good book could go a long way when you feel stressed.
I hope you enjoyed these tips!To get more strategies on eliminating stress and burnout, follow me on instragram here. I love engaging with my followers, so don’t you dare be shy now!