Does Stress Cause Acne in Teenagers and Adults?

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Acne can be very bothersome, especially in teenagers and adults. A frequently asked question, does stress cause acne? It is clear that stress is not only about emotional problem, because it may also cause some physical problems.

Acne – what actually is it?

This skin health problem occurs when the skin pores get clogged with dead cells of skin and sebum.

It is commonly found on the face (the most common area of acne to occur), neck, shoulders, upper arms, and back. Naturally, it takes time to heal which can vary from case to case.

Depending on the severity, it may may cause scarring of the skin. However with the right treatment, it is treatable and will go away without leaving a scar.

How does it occur?

It starts to occur when oil gland of the skin (sebaceous glands) create greasy sections that plug the very small openings of the skin, resulting in a clogged pore.

This may cause the form of whiteheads (flesh-small-colored bumps) or the form of blackheads (flat-small-spots with dark centers). Both can be potential to become unfriendly spots. These could be nodules, tender pimples, tender inflammation, or swollen. Nodules may become severe acne called cystic acne.

How common is it in teenagers and adults?

Broadly speaking, acne is relatively more common in teenagers than in adults. In fact, about almost 80 percent of all cases are found in teenagers, and only 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 sometimes can be unique. But in general, the common culprits are as follows:

  1. Hormones. The increased production of certain hormones is probably the main culprit. In fact, it is more common in adolescents when the production of hormones for puberty (especially androgen and testosterone) is very active.
  2. Bacteria. With excess sebum, you are more likely to have acne easier if you don’t properly clean your face.

When does acne stop in women and men?

The answer can vary. Some people find their acne is less likely to flare up before the age of 20s, while others still have it over 30s – this occurs in both women and men. It usually begins to appear at the ages of 10 to 13.

But many times it would improve in the early 20s, one study suggests. Furthermore, men are less likely than women to develop acne in their 30s.

How about 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 breathe faster than usual).

However, not all stress is bad. Sometimes you need it to respond certain situation. For instance, you need stress to win a competition (when participation in a marathon or when finishing certain task on time, for examples).

But if your stress lasts longer than normal and uncontrolable, this can give a bad impact to your health. In such case, stress may cause 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, stress is not always bad, but you need to manage it

How do you know if your stress flares up?

In some cases, we can figure out the trigger factors of stress. These may include losing a job, losing someone that we love a lot, being pregnant or having a baby, and getting married.

But sometimes there is no reason where it’s coming from. Identifying what causes your stress matters since the treatment depends on on this.

Each case of stress is different – everybody can feel & respond to stress uniquely. 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 anything that can factor into the flare-up of your stress! Once you find these trigger factors, you can plan the appropriate steps to handle them so you can manage your stress better!

Home remedies for your stress relief

There are a lot of ways to cope with this emotional problem. The following are some simple things that may 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 affect your strategies to cope with stress, as noted before.
  3. Let more feelings out for stress relief – these include laughing, talking to someone, and even crying if necessary to express your emotion.
  4. Participate in certain activities that you can enjoy with fun. For examples; doing your hobby, listening to your favorite music, becoming a volunteer of certain activity, etc.
  5. 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 stress?


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