In this article, Ms YY Low sheds insight on how stress affects our skin’s condition. Read on to get a crucial understanding of why improving your skin also means you need to improve on the stressful conditions you may be facing in your life.


Stress is a body’s method of reacting to a challenge. In a stressful event, the body’s way to respond to stress is by the fight-or-flight response. Because our bodies cannot keep this state for long periods of time, our body systems will work to return our physiological conditions back to normal.

We respond to stressors by exhibiting physiological or biological stress. Examples of stressors include particular environmental conditions, or a stimulus like examination or conflicts.

Stress typically denotes a negative condition (or sometimes a positive condition) that can have an impact on a person’s mental and physical well-being. Here are 5 insights into the relationship between stress and acne.

  1. When we are stressed, our immune system is weakened. Similarly, our ability to fight infection in the skin is diminished under stress.
  2. We have many nerve endings on our skin and when we are stressed, they produce neuropeptides. These are basically stress-induced chemicals that create inflammation in the skin. This can result in redness or bumpiness of the skin. Some people may even experiences changes in sensations such as: itching, burning, tingling, pain, and sensitivity. Neuropeptides are absolutely, intimately related to stress.
  3. Sometimes, stress and acne can interact in a harmful cycle. When some people are anxious or upset, they’re more likely to pick at their blemishes. While many people squeeze a pimple occasionally, there are extreme cases in which a person will pick at his/her blemishes compulsively because they are worried and embarrassed about their skin, and they cannot make themselves stop. This condition is called acne excoriee.
  4. Conversely, acne can also cause stress. Acne is more than just skin deep; for many people, it takes a high emotional toll. Loss of self-confidence, changes in self-esteem, depression and anxiety are all common side effects of dealing with acne. Even mild breakouts can negatively impact how one feel about themselves. For some, they experience the negative emotional effects of acne even after they have brought it under control.In healthy psychology, there is a term call “phantom limb pain.” People who have lost a hand, an arm, a leg, a foot, continue to feel these parts. They actually experience the sensation as if that limb still is a part of them!Likewise, people can experience “phantom acne”. They will look in the mirror and even though objectively they can say “I don’t see any pimples,” they will experience the world as if they still have acne.
  5. What can be done? A person cannot really make acne disappear just by using stress reduction techniques. For many people, acne is a chronic problem that requires long-term treatment at multiple fronts.However, there is nothing to lose if one learns how to reduce negative effects of stress. The fact if it is that managing stress can help people feel better, feel happier, and take better care of themselves. Stress management remains significant solution as it may make people live longer and enjoy life more.