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.