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Stress: It’s Written All Over Your Face

October 13, 2011

I’m Kim.
I’m an M.D.-turned-coach and I’m dedicated to helping you build your dream career + lifestyle. Welcome to my blog, where I write (and podcast) about wellness, business + success!
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Not only does stress make life unpleasant, it makes you grumpy, fat , and it interferes with sleep . And that’s before we get into the really serious stuff (like: increased risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes…)

There’s no doubt stress affects us on the inside. Did you know it also can affect your outer appearance? Yep, stress affects our skin, too.

Here are just some of the ways stress shows up on the outside:

Cold sores. The virus that causes cold sores is an opportunistic little thing. And it will take advantage of a stressed & impaired immune system to remind you of its presence.

Acne. Stress causes your body to secrete cortisol that (among other things) stimulates your sebaceous glands to increase their production of sebum. In other words: hello, breakout.

Existing skin conditions. Stress has the potential to worsen existing skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and rosacea.

Another, perhaps more subtle effect of stress on your skin: when you’re busy, you’re less likely to take proper care of your skin. Too tired to bother washing & moisturizing your face? Yep, been there myself.

Not only does stress cause skin trouble, the reverse can be true, too. The embarrassment and self-consciousness brought on by visible skin conditions can be a bona fide source of stress. The term “vicious cycle” comes to mind.

Is all this making you feel, um, stressed? Ready to break that cycle and cope with all that stress?

Here are some places to start:

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