Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stressing Stress Relief

More than ever before, life is stressing us out!

You may be familiar with the common effects of stress such as poor sleep or insomnia, headaches and even heart attacks, but from a dermatological aspect, stress can greatly affect your skin, hair and nails, too.

It’s normal to lose hair as part of its life cycle, but stress can significantly increase hair loss. You can lose up to ½ to ¾ of your hair, which may not fall out until three months after the stressful event. It takes a while to affect your hair, but will take an additional six to nine months to grow back!

Stress also can affect your skin by aggravating pre-existing conditions such as psoriasis, acne and rosacea. It also dehydrates your skin, which lowers the skin’s ability to repair itself.

When you’re tense, cortisol levels in your body shoot up, causing an increase in oil production and possible acne flare-ups. Worse yet, higher cortisol levels have been shown to advance the growth of harmful melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

To help fight against stress-causing acne, I prescribe to my patients topical treatment that they can apply to troubled spots to help decrease flare-ups and speed up recovery. I find that when patients feel more in control about handling stress, their stress levels actually decrease.

Brittle, broken nails are another result of stress. Stress not only weakens nail beds but also may form habits such as rubbing or biting nails, which also damage or destroy your beautiful digits.

To lower your stress, figure out what is the source of your stress so you are better equipped to handle it the next time.

You can also decrease the negative effects of stress when you exercise more, lower the temperature on your showers or baths, use detergent-free soaps and sunscreen, and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

For more information or for treatment options to help lower the side effects of stress, call (864) 242-5872 today.

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