You’ve probably wondered about the link between breakouts and stress.  After all, doesn’t it seem like your acne breakouts get worse when you are particularly stressed out?  There is a scientific reason behind it.Cortisol, a stress hormone, triggers the increased production of sebum which creates more oily skin.  The excessive sebum can cause more breakouts: pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts in acne prone skin.  So how do you learn how to relax and get your stress levels and skin under control?  Psychodermatology can help acne as well as other skin conditions.

The link between psychology and the skin is an interesting one.  A relatively new term has been coined, “psychodermatology”.  While this isn’t an official medical field, it studies the link between body and mind, and in particular, the effects of the mind and stress levels and impacts on your skin.  “A psychodermatologic disorder is a condition that involves an interaction between the mind and the skin,” says American Family Physician Journal.

We are aware that stress can show up in our skin.  But what do you do about it?Many of the components used in psychodermatology are stress reduction techniques and psychotherapy.  There is even a book about it, Skin Deep: A Mind/Body Program for Healthy Skin.Resolving root issues that are causing stress is one of the goals of the book.The book was authored by Grossbart and Sherman, a clinical psychologist and medical science writer, respectively.Several techniques are explored: including guided imaging, hypnosis, relaxation techniques, and psychotherapy.

Psychodermatology treatment can help many skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.If you’d like to try your own treatment without seeing a psychodermatologist, you can do your own experiment in stress management.Start taking exercise classes like yoga, or try to learn meditation techniques.See if your skin improves when you incorporate relaxation techniques into your regular routine.  If nothing else, managing your stress levels is good for your body and mind, and that’s bound to make you feel better. 

The next time you know a stressful event is coming, like a big exam, wedding, or job interview, don’t sit back and wait in fear for another massive breakout–do something about it.  Try to learn how to relax and you could possibly short circuit the stress/skin reaction.

Learn more about psychodermatology and acne treatment options:

Psychodermatology Fact Sheet

More Natural Acne Treatment Options

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