Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Covering approximately 20 square feet, it is also the largest organ most exposed to both internal and external elements. When under duress from stress, your body releases stress hormones, which affect your health, as well as your skin. Stress causes a chemical response in our bodies, causing the skin to become more sensitive and reactive. Let’s look at three ways stress affects your skin!
- Rash/Hives: When your stress levels increase, your immune system weakens. As your body reacts to stress, it increases the levels of the stress hormone, Cortisol, throughout your system. Your body’s natural response is to discharge histamines into your skin, lungs, nose, mouth, gut, and bloodstream in an attempt at defending this attack on your immune system. Your body is recognizing stress as an allergy, and in doing so, it releases an excess production of histamine to fight it off. Your skin becomes sensitive to the elements and is likely to show a reaction in the form of rashes, bumps, or hives.
- Excess Dryness: Another reaction to Cortisol is a reduction in the skin’s ability to stay hydrated. Flaky, rough, and itchy skin is a result of damage to the lipid barrier. Stress reduces this lipid barrier, allowing fluids to easily evaporate and encouraging your skin to dry out. Dry skin, as you know, brings its own challenges. Early aging, dullness, wrinkles, frown lines, peeling and flaking skin are all symptoms of dehydrated skin cells.
- Acne: In a recent study, Stanford University reviewed acne in 22 college students during final exam week. Stressed students facing exams had worse acne than calmer students. Relaxation therapies have proven to reduce the severity and incidence of acne in those prone to break-outs.
Obviously, there are many ways that stress affects our bodies and our skin. Relaxation techniques have a positive impact on the way our bodies react to the stress effects. Deep breathing, regular exercise, daily vitamin regimes, and proper eating techniques will improve your body’s counter-attack to adrenal spikes. Massages aid our muscular systems in getting the proper oxygen and alleviating hormonal releases to counteract these stress attacks on our systems. While it’s vital to take steps to keep our stress levels down, taking extra measures to alleviate the negative effects stress has on our bodies will improve our daily lives.
By scheduling regular massage sessions at your place of employment for your staff with us, you’re taking an additional step in reducing your employees’ stress and improving their health.
We look forward to seeing you and your staff in the near future.