Menu Close

How Does Anxiety Affect Your Skin?

man discusses anxiety with doctor

Anxiety and stress can cause many emotional and physical symptoms, including skin problems.  One of the biggest fears associated with chronic anxiety is the possibility of everyone being able to see how anxious you are.  Unfortunately, skin problems often show up in obvious places, such as the face, and self-consciousness can further exacerbate anxiety and stress in social situations.  There are several ways stress and anxiety can create unpleasant skin issues, such as acne, alopecia, psoriasis, and itchy rashes. While there may be ways to topically treat anxiety-related skin issues, seeking quality mental health care is the best way to manage these symptoms. Researchers are still discovering all the ways in which our bodies are intrinsically tied to our minds.  Most anxiety-related skin issues come as a result of hormones that are stimulated during the body’s stress response.   This means that whether you are experiencing real danger, or having a panic attack in a crowded space, your body reacts by producing compounds to activate the fight or flight response.  This process may also lead to inflammation in the body, including the largest organ, the skin. Additionally, research has found that stress and anxiety can cause a hormonal imbalance that leads to excess oil production in the skin.  This is why it is common to have a breakout of pimples in high-stress times in your life.

When Toxins Can’t Escape 

Lastly, people with chronic anxiety or overwhelming stress are more likely to participate in unhealthy behaviors that may further damage the skin.  Alcohol use, for example, can dry out the skin and lead to premature aging. The metabolization of alcohol in the body results in excess toxins that need to be purged, and often escape through your pores in the form of pimples.  Alcohol also causes blood vessels to break in the face, which can lead to permanent reddening over time. Coping with stress and anxiety by using substances is never a healthy option, and may lead to a battle with addiction.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and mental health issues, now is the time to reach out for help.  At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  We use an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.