If you have a skin complaint, you will know just how hard it is to manage and keep it under control. Whether it’s eczema, psoriasis, hives, acne, or rosacea (to name but a few of the most common ones) they can all have a significant impact on your life. The exact causes are often unknown. You might have inherited a tendency for a skin complaint, or have sensitive skin. The biggest causes tend to be allergy or diet based.
There are many triggers that can cause skin conditions to flare-up. Irritants, allergens, microbes, hot or cold temperatures, foods, and hormones can all cause skin problems. Another trigger is stress. Some people have worse symptoms when they are stressed. For others their symptoms cause them to feel stressed. If you are stressed, you might skimp on your skin care, which can aggravate skin problems. Stress can also make it harder for skin problems to heal.
With so many causes and triggers it is important for any skincare plan to take an integrated approach. To treat and control skin flare ups, you can work with a dermatologist to get the correct medication.
You can also heal skin flare ups naturally with skin creams like Manuka Biotic. One of the biggest issues with using topical steroids is that they have the ability to change the natural way your skin operates. By using a non-steroid cream like Manuka Biotic, which only uses natural ingredients like Manuka Oil, herbs and plants, it doesn’t have addicting properties and is safe and effective for your skin. In fact, recent research shows that using a non-steroid cream may be just as effective and most importantly, safe.
Prevention is better than cure. Part of your treatment should be to learn what triggers your skin to flare, and then to avoid it. You should also consider stress management as part of the treatment mix.
The Effects of Stress on Skin
Stress development is a natural process. When you’re about to be faced with some type of danger, your body turns on everything it needs to protect itself. One of the things it turns on is cortisol – a stress hormone that plays a variety of functions in your body. One effect it has is to suppress the immune system, and that leads to inflammation – especially on the skin.
The problem today is that our busy lives can cause us to feel overwhelmed, with our stress response permanently switched on, causing the skin to remain inflamed. For those without skin conditions, they may not even notice. But studies have shown that emotional stress can actually make eczema worse for those with problem skin. So, if you’re living with stress you may be prone to constant flare-ups. Learning how to control stress can be an important step to bringing it under control.
Other Effects of Stress and Skin Flare-Ups
While cortisol is the main culprit, there are several other links between stress and skin flare-ups.
Paying Attention to Itching
When you have stress, it becomes much harder to ignore negative feelings, like itching and pain. People say that stress makes it harder to focus, but stress is actually very good at causing your mind to focus on negative things. When you focus on the itching and discomfort of your eczema, the itching tends to be worse, leading to more scratching and irritation.
Stress can also make it much harder to sleep. Studies have shown that sleeplessness seems to have an effect on your skin’s ability to heal. So, if you’re losing sleep because of your stress, you’re likely to also experience worse symptoms.
Skin Flare-ups Causing Stress
Having serious skin flare-ups can cause a lot of stress, for kids and parents alike. Unfortunately, this can lead to the development of further skin problems.
So, in addition to cortisol increasing the effects of skin flare-ups when you’re stressed, there are also several other issues at play that may create an increase in your symptoms.
Stress Management to Control Skin Flare-Ups
While severe skin conditions such as eczema are unlikely to be caused purely by stress, a holistic stress management approach will likely decrease some of your symptoms.
Such an integrated approach allows for natural skincare support and other treatment possibilities like massage therapy and counselling, which can alleviate the mood problems that result from or cause skin problems.
One study at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami showed that children’s mood and activity levels improved, as did all measures of their skin condition including redness and itching, after massage therapy.
Effective stress management can build your resilience to stress, as well as reduce your exposure to stress. For times when you do succumb to stress, it is important that you have fast and effective stress-relieving strategies that you can employ to bring you back to a state of normal as quickly as possible.
4 Simple Ways to Reduce the Effects of Stress on Your Skin
Relaxation Techniques: When you’re feeling stressed or tense, there are many relaxation strategies that can be helpful in overcoming that tension, such as breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation. Mindful meditation is a powerful tool that we can tap into for free any time, to help control our stress levels by focusing on the present moment and bringing our body quickly back into a state of relaxation.
Exercise: Exercise is extremely important. Research has shown that exercise creates neurotransmitters and hormones that improve mood. It is good for you skin and for your stress levels.
Massage: The therapy of touch can help calm the body and mind. Combine this with an effective skincare cream like Manuka Biotic’s Natural Body Lotion and you will be totally relaxed whilst nourishing and repairing your dry and irritated skin.
Eczema Safe Bath: A good bathing routine is necessary to treat skin dryness. Of course, hot baths with drying soap can be problematic for your skin, so make sure that you’re taking precautions with the products you use to fill your bath. Washing yourself with Manuka Biotic’s Refreshing Natural Body Wash will promote healthier skin. Use lukewarm water as well.
These are just a few helpful strategies that can have a fairly profound effect on your ability to overcome stress. For more stress management techniques, download my free eBook, Mummy Mojo’s Guide To Stress-Free Living. It contains all the tips, techniques and strategies to help you dial down the stress, which in turn can help you limit skin flare-ups.
Amy Down, is a qualified health & lifestyle coach, EFT practitioner, wellness blogger, and mum of 2 kids. She is the co-founder of Mummy Mojo, a health & wellness business that offers mums a personalised “road-map to health” that suits their unique body, lifestyle preferences, and goals. Working in natural healthcare for the past 15 years, Amy experienced a serious illness and embarked on a personal journey of growth, healing, and discovery. She learned that positive health starts from within, and her passion for helping herself became a deep passion for helping others. She now empowers women with the tools and guidance to get happy, confident, and healthy. She loves helping mums find balance in their lives, while making simple shifts in their mindset to release what’s blocking them.
As a special gift for all you amazing Manuka Mums, download our 64-page guide to stress free living absolutely free.