Stress may be spreading to your skin, but this is not a one-way street-Harvard University Health Blog

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Are you stressed? Your skin can be displayed. Studies have shown that both acute and chronic stress can negatively affect overall skin health and exacerbate many skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, acne, and hair loss.

But this is not just a one-way street. Research has also shown that skin and hair follicles contain complex mechanisms to generate their own stress-inducing signals, which can propagate to the brain and permanently maintain the stress response.

Stress and the two-way flow between the brain and the skin

You may have experienced the connection between the brain and the skin. Have you ever become so nervous that you start to flush or sweat? If so, you have experienced an acute temporary stress reaction. But science has shown that repeated exposure to psychological or environmental stress can have lasting effects on the skin, not just redness, and even negative effects on your overall health.

The cerebral cortex axis is interconnected, Two-way approach It can transfer psychological stress from the brain to the skin, and vice versa. Stress triggers the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which are three glands that play a key role in the body’s response to stress. This causes the production of local pro-inflammatory factors, such as cortisol and key hormones in the fight or escape stress response, called catecholamines, which can direct immune cells from the bloodstream to the skin or stimulate pro-inflammatory skin cells. Mast cells are a key type of pro-inflammatory skin cells on the brain-skin axis. They respond to cortisol hormone through receptor signal transduction and directly cause a variety of skin conditions, including itching.

Because the skin is constantly exposed to the outside world, it is more susceptible to environmental stress than any other organ, and can produce stress hormones for these stress hormones. For example, the skin generates stress hormones in response to ultraviolet light and temperature, and sends these signals back to the brain. Therefore, psychological stressors can cause over-stressed skin, while environmental stressors (through the skin) can cause psychological stress and perpetuate the stress cycle.

What other stress will affect your skin?

According to psychological stress, it can also destroy the epidermal barrier-the top layer of skin that locks in moisture and protects us from harmful microorganisms-and prolongs its repair time. Clinical research Among healthy people. A complete epidermal barrier is essential for healthy skin. When destroyed, it can cause skin allergies and chronic skin diseases including eczema, psoriasis or wounds. Psychosocial stress is directly related to the deterioration of these diseases. Small observational study. Acne outbreaks are also related to stress, although the understanding of this relationship is still developing.

The negative effects of stress have also been confirmed in the hair. Psychosocial stress can trigger a type of diffuse hair loss called telogen efffluvium. Inhibition of hair growth stage.Stress is also related to graying hair Mouse Research. Studies have shown that artificial pressure stimulates the release of norepinephrine (a catecholamine), which depletes the pigment-producing stem cells in the hair follicles, causing the hair to turn white.

How to deal with stressed skin?

In theory, reducing stress levels should help reduce damage to the skin, but there are few data on the effectiveness of stress-reducing interventions.There are some evidence Meditation may reduce the total amount of catecholamines in people who regularly take the product. Similarly, meditation and relaxation techniques have been shown to help psoriasis. More research is needed to prove the benefits of these technologies in other skin diseases. Healthy lifestyle habits, including a balanced diet and exercise, may also help regulate stress hormones in the body, which in turn has a positive effect on skin and hair.

If you experience stress-related skin conditions, please consult a dermatologist and try some Techniques to reduce stress at home.

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