Does Stress Cause Acne in Teenagers and Adults?

Many people (especially women) are often worried by the existence acne. One of frequently asked questions is does stress cause acne, both in teenagers and adults? It is clear that stress is not only about emotional change or emotional problem, because in fact many studies have confirmed that it also can cause some physical problems.

Acne – what actually is it?

This skin health problem occurs when the follicles of hair become plugged with dead cells of skin and oil of skin.

It is commonly found in face (the most common area of acne to occur), neck, shoulders, upper arms, and back. Naturally, this skin condition heals slowly. But sometime when a lesion of acne begins to go away, others seem to crop up.

Depending on the severity, this skin problem also can lead to emotional distress and may cause scarring of the skin. However with the right treatment, it can be treatable condition. And you should always remember, the earlier of appropriate treatment you take is better for the prognosis.

How does it occur?

Again as written before, it starts to occur when oil gland of skin (sebaceous glands) create greasy sections that plug the very small openings of the skin and then can cause plugged pores (hair follicles). If the openings are not going to become large, typically the clogs can take the form of whiteheads (flesh-small-colored bumps). And if the openings are pretty large, there is a chance for the form of blackheads (flat-small-spots with dark centers) to occur.

However, both kinds of plugged pores can be potential to become unfriendly spots on the skin such as nodules, tender pimples, tender inflammation, or swollen. Nodules often direct to severe acne (medically called cystic acne).

How common is it in teenagers and adults?

If compared between teenagers and adults, this skin problem is relatively more common in teens. In fact, about almost 80 percent of all cases are found in teenagers and about 20 percent in adults.

How do you get it?

The clearly reason of how you get  acne is not fully understood. In fact, each case of acne sometime can be unique. For instance, while some people can have it due to stress or poor habit in cleaning and maintaining their skin, others cannot. But generally, the following are some possible causes of acne:

The increased production of certain hormones. In fact as mentioned before, this skin problem is more common in adolescents when the production of hormones of puberty (especially androgen and testosterone) can be produced very high.

If you have excess sebum that clogs the opening to follicles (particularly hair follicles of face, upper arms, back, chest, and neck), you are more likely to have acne easier – especially if you don’t properly clean these sites. Because unfriendly bacteria can grow easier and cause acne in these clogged follicles.

When does acne end and stop in women and men?

The answer can vary from person to person. Some teens find that their acne start to go away before the age of 20s, while others still have it over 30s – this occurs in both women and men. Generally, this kind of skin problem begins during the age of between 10 to 13 years of age, and more likely to get worse in individuals with oily skin.

And additionally, many statistics show that acne problem commonly tends to go away naturally in the early 20s. Furthermore, men are less likely than women to develop mild & moderate forms of acne into their 30s.

How about with stress – what actually is it?

There are a lot of definitions of stress. But in general, it is a kind of emotional problem that occurs when you need to handle more than you are used to. During stressful period, you body system can respond it as ‘emergency situation’ – as a result, your body will speed up the rhythm of your heartbeats and the mechanism of your respiratory system (you will breathe faster than usual).

However, not all stress is bad. Sometime you need to have stress to respond certain condition to help reach your goal. For instance, you need stress to win a competition such as when participation in a marathon, or when finishing certain task (such as an important job) on time.

But if your stress lasts longer than normal /too long and occurs too often, this can give bad impact to your health such as difficulty sleeping, decreased productivity, difficulty concentrating, certain problems of stomach, dizziness /headache, and even back pain. See also the link between stress and hair loss!

Overall, excessive stress can affect your fit status both for your physical and emotional health. In long term, it also can decrease and affect your body immune system which then can make you become vulnerable of getting sick easier.

How do you know if you are experiencing stress?

In some cases, we can figure out the trigger factors of our stress. These may include losing a job, losing someone that we love a lot, being pregnant or having a baby, and getting married. But sometime, there is no clear reason for where our stress is coming from.

And in fact, the stress treatment option is closely associated with the cause. In other words, it’s very important to get to know the exact factor or condition that triggers your stress, otherwise you will be more difficult to cope with the problem and manage your stress.

Each case of stress can be different and unique – everybody can feel & respond to stress uniquely and differently. If you are still confused on finding the trigger factor, making a stress journal may be your best option.

Write down any factors /conditions or something that can direct you to stress! Once you find these trigger factors, you can plan the appropriate steps to handle them and eventually can help reduce and manage your stress!

The best options of home remedies for your stress relief

stress_and_acne_illustrationThere are a lot of ways you can explore to cope with this emotional problem. And the following are some simple things that can help:

  1. Sticking with regular exercise. This idea is not only a basic thing to keep your fit status at its best performance, but also can help manage your stress and improve the health of your skin. In fact, individuals who have plenty of physical activity are less likely to have stress than others who are physically inactive.
  2. Identity any factors that trigger your stress as much as possible! Knowing the trigger factors can significantly affect the way of your strategies to cope with stress, as noted before.
  3. Let more feelings out to help your stress management – these can include laugh, talk, and even cry /anger if necessary to express your emotion.
  4. Participate in certain activities that you can enjoy such doing your hobby, listening to your favorite music, becoming a volunteer of certain activity, etc.
  5. And do some relaxation techniques if necessary!

The link between stress and acne in teenagers and adults!

As mentioned before the exact cause of acne has not yet confirmed – though there are some theories such as changes of hormone and infection of bacteria. How about with stress?