If you're dealing with unexplainable breakouts, it might help to know how acne, anxiety, and hormones are connected.
When experiencing breakouts, most of us focus on the products we’ve used. Maybe even our diet.
However, there's a chance we're overlooking another factor: our emotions.
Anxiety can cause acne, and acne can cause anxiety. And hormones play an important role in this entire ordeal.
Hopefully, knowing how acne, anxiety, and hormones are connected can help you achieve clear skin and a clear mind.
How are acne, anxiety, and hormones connected?
When it comes to acne, anxiety, and hormones, hormones act as the main link between acne and anxiety. It may even help to picture hormones as a bridge between the two.
Looking at how hormones affect each can help us better understand how acne and anxiety relate to one another.
Anxiety and Hormones
When your body is subject to any type of anxiety, it can respond by triggering stress hormones into the bloodstream.
These stress hormones are the reason when you're anxious, you feel your body react.
These hormones can trigger responses like sped up heartbeat, headaches, nausea, sweating, muscle tension, stammering, and trembling.
Stress hormones can also weaken the immune system if left unattended over time, making us vulnerable to a variety of ailments .
That includes skin conditions like acne.
Acne and Hormones
The hormones testosterone, estrogen, and to a lesser degree, progesterone plays a major role in skin changes—including acne.
Women produce small quantities of androgen hormones, such as the male hormone testosterone. And these hormones stimulate the oil glands (aka sebaceous glands).
Too many androgen hormones cause an imbalance in hormone levels and overstimulate the oil glands. This imbalance and overstimulation are what we need to watch out for.
When your hormone levels are out of whack, the oil glands beneath your skin are overstimulated and produce more oil or sebum.
And when there’s too much oil production, it’s only a matter of time for acne to develop.
That's because excess sebum directly contributes to clogged pores that turn into pimples. After all, the recipe for clogged pores is dead skin cells, acne-causing bacteria, and excess sebum.
Inside SkinTalk I share pro tips on how to go from being controlled by acne, to being the one in control.
Acne, Anxiety, and Hormones
Now, it's time to connect the puzzle pieces.
When we experience anxiety, we produce stress hormones.
The adrenal glands produce these hormones. But those aren't the only hormones the glands produce when we're anxious.
Along with stress hormones, the adrenal glands also produce androgen.
And the sudden influx of androgen hormones can lead to disrupted hormone levels—which leads to acne breakouts.
So from this, you can see how hormones serve as the powerful connection between anxiety and acne.
Is anxiety causing your acne or the other way around?
It's hard to tell if anxiety is causing acne or if acne results from other unrelated issues.
What can help is keeping a journal to monitor your breakouts and your periods of anxiety. Of course, don't forget to include other acne causes into consideration.
A journal can also help you evaluate if your acne is causing you anxiety.
Observe how you feel whenever you have a major acne breakout or even when it's just one big red pimple.
If you feel like acne is tampering with your confidence and your state of mind in any way, then acne could be a factor that's feeding your anxiety.
And if you have anxiety, you can get into a vicious cycle of triggering more acne, which makes you more anxious, which makes you break out more.
The good news is that this cycle is not permanent, and no matter which came first, you can break the cycle by signing up to SkinTalk here at Pretty Blooming.
What can you do about acne-induced anxiety?
As someone who has suffered from acne for years, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to understand how acne can feed anxiety.
A study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology found how people with acne are three times more likely to have moderate-to-severe anxiety compared with healthy individuals .
Another study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, noted how important it is to treat acne immediately .
That's because there's an increased risk of depression and anxiety for people suffering from acne.
If your acne is the major factor for your anxiety, dealing with acne right away can help.
4 quickies to deal with acne:
- Balance your sebum by using a gentle cleanser and a moisturizer that suits your skin type
- Slough off dead skin cells using exfoliating serums; avoid harsh facial scrubs and tools
- Protect your skin from sun damage by using sunscreen with adequate protection levels
- Keep your face clean by cleansing and only touching it with clean hands
What can you do about anxiety-induced acne?
Since your acne can be anxiety-induced, the best course of action is to address your anxiety.
Seeking help from a mental health professional can be intimidating at first. It's always the first step that's hard to do.
But trust that you'll be in a better place once you find a mental health professional that can work with you towards addressing your anxiety.
I hope you learned something useful today!
Whether you're dealing with acne-induced anxiety or anxiety-induced acne, know that this too shall pass.
You're a strong, beautiful human being who is capable of so much more than you could have ever imagined!