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This is how stress could be wrecking your skin and hair

Stress has a negative impact on both our mental and physical health. However, not many people know of its harmful effects of stress on skin and hair health.
Woman with negative thoughts
Not many know that stress can negatively impact your confidence. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Grace Bains Published: 28 Jun 2021, 18:27 pm IST
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We are seeing a general trend of increased levels of unhappiness and stress-induced anxiety all around us. Be it Covid-19, personal hardships or work-related woes, we deal with events that trigger stress on a daily basis.

Besides causing headaches, fatigue, self-doubt and lack of sleep, stress could also affect the health of your skin and hair. The release of stress hormones triggers pro-inflammatory factors to develop, which can cause adverse effects on your skin and hair.

What is stress?

Stress is the body’s way of reacting to any circumstance(s) that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these circumstances with physical, mental, and emotional responses. During stressful events, the body releases a burst of chemicals, such as adrenaline and can even be helpful to provide energy to get certain tasks done, but in the long term, stress can lead to significant health problems.

harmful effects of stress
Long-term stress can cause a deterioration in skin and hair health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Harmful effects of stress on skin and hair

Brain and beauty are interconnected! If you don’t manage it, you’re sure to experience the harmful effects of stress on your skin and hair. Stress can lead to the following conditions if not managed timely:

1. Acne and breakouts

Your body produces a hormone called cortisol when stressed. This hormone stimulates the hypothalamus in your brain to release oil from the sebaceous gland, causing your pores to clog and leading to acne and breakouts.

2. Dry and itchy skin

Stress can impair the barrier function on the stratum corneum, the outer layer of your skin. This layer contains protein and lipids that keep your skin cells hydrated and a compromised barrier can cause your skin to become dry and itchy.

3. Rashes

Prolonged stress can weaken your immune system. A weak immune system can cause an imbalance of bacteria in your gut and skin known as dysbiosis. This imbalance can lead to redness or a rash, and may also aggravate conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and contact dermatitis.

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harmful effects of stress
Stress can show up on the skin in the form of rashes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Stalled hair growth

Stress can cause a condition called ‘telogen effluvium’, in which your hair follicles stop producing new hair strands and can further lead to rapid hair fall when combing or washing your hair.

5. Greying of hair

Stressful situations can cause the ‘sympathetic nervous activity’ to stimulate the stem cells that create melanocytes, making them disappear. If these cells disappear, new cells can lose their colour and cause greying of hair.

6. Pulling your hair

The common saying that stress can make you pull your hair has scientific backing to it as well. ‘Trichotillomania’ is the name of the condition that can cause you to pull out your hair when stressed. It’s a psychological condition, in which people dealing with negative emotions, and anxiety may pull their hair as a self-soothing response.

So, ladies, consider managing stress to improve your overall wellbeing and boost the health of your skin and hair.

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About the Author

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book. ...Read More

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