What is stress and how does it affect you?
Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain within the human body. It is a cause for attention and action. While most individuals connect stress to a mental condition, it can affect your body’s well-being in more ways than you can think of.
Impacts of stress on your skin
Pressures related to your work, finance, health and relationships can cause serious anxiety and depression at times. Your body's nervous system responds to this stress and anxiety by releasing a chemical called cortisol. Cortisol itself in high amounts can cause health issues related to blood pressure, weight and weakness. However, when it comes to the skin, cortisol causes an increase in oil production in your skin glands leading to skin issues like acne breakouts, clogged pores and dandruff.
When you’re stressed, your immune system weakens. Your skin becomes reactive and more sensitive. Rashes and redness come by easily. Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis occur leading to flare-ups. It is important to see a dermatologist right away when you notice irregularities in your skin.
Stress vs Hair
Coming to your hair, stress can aggravate and in many cases worsen dandruff. An itchy scalp and flaky scalp are the first signs of dandruff. When the body is in distress, hormonal changes begin to occur; these changes in - turn disrupt the micro-flora of the skin. However not all dandruff-related issues are connected with stress, it is important to keep in mind that stress can worsen these issues. With serious dandruff, most people begin to itch their scalps leading to redness and irritation of the micro-flora. The itchiness will intensify with heat, sweat or by eating something hot. While dandruff is an issue for many, hair fall is more common; in men and women.
Hairfall and stress are strongly connected. As per Mayo Clinic, are three types of hair loss that are connected with stress:
Telogen effluvium, which is when your body pushes your hair in a so-called resting phase. In this case, hair begins to fall out when you comb or brush your hand through your hair.
Alopecia areata is when bald patches begin to occur. While these might be hereditary, more often than we realize, stress triggers this when the body’s immune system begins to attack the hair follicles causing certain areas of the head to lose hair follicles and their ability to grow back.
Trichotillomania, which is when individuals begin to pull out their hair as a coping mechanism. Just like how we bite our nails when we are nervous. This hair can be from your hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, or anywhere else on the body.
How can we combat stress?
Stress is common. Human lives are complicated. Some people have more stress than others. But it is important to take care of yourself and your body. Being cooped in at home is important to destress and to allow your body to breathe. While there might be so much going on in your life, your body should not face those repercussions.
Working out, meditating, yoga, aromatherapy, playing sports are common ways for someone to improve their lives and ways to destress. Yoga and meditation are the best-proven methods of releasing your stress, in fact, it is so popular, we even celebrate International Yoga Day. If for some reason you are not able to perform those activities, listening to music, taking a warm bath or doing something you enjoy doing can be effective stress busters.
Aromatherapy has also proven to be an effective method to relieve tension. Our cortisol levels drop when our olfactory glands are experiencing fragrances like Ylang-Ylang, WaterScience has created a product for you to get the ultimate relaxation. A showerhead with a compartment for aromatherapy pods. This gives you the benefits of detoxifying and de-stressing in the shower along with 5 different fragrances for you to choose from to take away all your worries of the day.
Although we have all been facing stress due to our work, due to covid, due to family or even due to our friends. It is important to have a way to detoxify, destress and decompress ourselves to maintain our hair, skin and overall health. Start de-stressing yourself today -take a minute right now to focus on your breath and relieve yourselves from the pressures and tensions of the day.
Image Credit: Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash
Written By Shravya Nahar