How Stress Can Affect Your Appearance
When we’re stressed, the effects can show up in many different ways. We might not be able to sleep well, we might not eat enough (or we might eat too much of the wrong food), we might not be able to concentrate well, and we might feel down in general. But stress can also easily change the way we look. The more stressed out we are, the more likely it is that our face, hair, and other places will show it. Here are some ways that stress can make you look bad. If you notice any of these, it’s time to get some help.
An obvious symptom of stress’s negative effects on your health and appearance is hair thinning or even complete loss. As a result of stress, your hair goes through a rapid transition from the growth phase to the end-stage (when it would typically fall out). Essentially, this means that more hair has less time to develop, which gives the impression that you are balding or have less hair, to begin with. It’s possible for individuals to develop trichotillomania which is the need to pluck out one’s hair, or alopecia areata (bald spots) when they’re stressed.
Did you think that acne was just a teenager’s problem? It could be that you need to think again. Because stress makes your body make cortisol, it can cause acne in adults. Also, it can make your skin make more oil, which can lead to spots. Also, stress can prevent the good bacteria in the gut from doing their part in protecting you. This can cause more bad bacteria to grow, which can make acne worse.
The good news is that, as unpleasant as it might be, you can get good acne treatment to help you. Of course, you’ll also need to deal with the reason why you’re stressed in the first place.
Dry, Flaky Skin
Even though we just talked about how stress can make your skin too oily and lead to acne, it can also make your skin dry and flaky. That’s because stress can end up making you quite dehydrated, and since most people are already chronically dehydrated and don’t know it, being stressed can make you very sick. Since it won’t get enough water, your skin will become much drier than usual. You might notice dandruff or dry spots on your face and arms, for example.
Stress Can Cause Dark Circles
We’ve all had nights when we didn’t get enough sleep, and we’ve all woken up with dark circles or even “bags” under our eyes. As long as you can sleep the next night, this is usually a short-term problem that can be fixed with a little moisturizer and a good breakfast. But stress can keep us from getting enough sleep, and those dark circles can last much longer. When you don’t get enough sleep, the skin under your eyes starts to hold on to water. This can cause the skin to thin out over time. It’s much easier to see dark circles when this happens.