MINI SERIES: STRESS – SKIN & WELLBEING
One in six people in the workplace are affected by stress, anxiety or depression at any one time in this country, according to the leading UK charity MIND.
The drive to work longer hours is now a reality for many. Work life balance is harder to achieve and the digital economy adds pressure to personal and professional performance. Stress is a natural part of life today and hard to avoid. However, managing stress and recognising the signs are important [the good and the bad news is that your skin will often be a visible indicator of stress).
CORTISOL – ANGEL OR DEVIL
When stress occurs, the body produces two hormones – adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline helps the body to react to perceived ‘danger’ and once that threat is over, will return to normal levels. Cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands, also helps your body cope with stress and is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, however if allowed to continue at high levels, can have a negative impact all over the body. Signs include thinning skin, weaker bones, higher fluid retention and bloating, a higher risk of bruising easily, delayed wound healing, weight gain and overall hormone imbalance between estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
KEY FACT – STRESS AND INFLAMMATION
Stress causes high levels of cortisol leading to increased inflammation. As prolonged stress causes irregular levels of cortisol, this results in the gut becoming inflamed. Specifically in skin, multiple neuroinflammatory conditions can be triggered or aggravated by stress, such as: psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, acne and contact dermatitis.
Original article: IIAA Bulletin November 2017