Five Surprising Ways Stress Affects Physical Appearance

Updated on February 14, 2022

According to experts, stress can only be healthy for short-term or immediate situations as it can provide coping mechanisms to a person and take on the situations before they become more serious. On the other hand, if an individual’s stress response won’t stop running, it can take a huge toll on that person’s health.

For instance, chronic stress can lead to worrying symptoms including insomnia, depression, anxiety, and irritability. It can also be a factor in unhealthy behaviors such as social withdrawal, drug abuse, alcohol, and overeating. When it comes to stress, most people will particularly associate it with mental and emotional health concerns. The truth is, this is also a natural physical reaction to a person’s life events. Let’s go through some of the most common effects of stress on a person’s physical appearance.

1. Hair loss

Hair loss can be caused by different reasons and one of them is stress. In fact, scientific studies suggest that hair loss can be linked to emotional stress. High stress levels can potentially lead to different types of hair loss include alopecia areata, trichotillomania, and telogen effluvium. Medical doctors claim that a person’s hair can grow back if stress is managed.

For promoting new growth and reducing hair loss, nutrition and diet should be a top priority. Vitamins that are best for hair growth include B, C, and E. For a quicker and convenient solution, a laser hair restoration treatment is an innovative procedure to reverse the impact of stress. Such laser treatment is appealing to patients as it doesn’t just boost hair growth and strength, but it’s also painless, noninvasive, and no side effects. Nonetheless, it’s advisable to consult a doctor to confirm if hair loss does related to stress. Some other reasons include hormonal changes, genetics, aging, or chemotherapy.

2. Flaky and dry skin

Another notion that science supports is that high levels of stress can contribute to skin issues such as dry skin. The mental condition can weaken the barrier of the skin and preventing it from holding up water. This can then lead to skin being dehydrated and dry. For individuals suffering from such skin problems, staying hydrated is helpful. Skincare treatments such as using unscented and non-comedogenic lotion and applying the right moisturizer are highly encouraged as well.

3. Under-eye bags

Many individuals who get stressed out from their overloaded schedules and to-do lists find it hard to get restful sleep and rest, which leads to puffy and tired-looking eyes. According to studies, a person can get puffy eyes as their lower eyelid area gets flooded with fluid. A natural remedy for this is just getting at least eight hours of goodnight sleep without distractions such as light from electronic devices. Other experts also recommend drinking caffeine-free chamomile tea before bed to help relax and calm the body. For individuals who are conscious

4. Acne breakout

One skin issue that is often associated with stress is acne. Stress can trigger an acne breakout as it releases cortisol, a stress hormone, that is said to throw off other body hormones. Apart from that, it can disrupt the balance between the gut’s good and bad bacteria, causing a person to have breakouts. Stress also causes individuals to break away from their skincare routines, consume less-healthy food, and sleep poorly, thus leading to acne.

In this case, it is best to stick to typical skincare regimens, perform meditation exercises for several minutes, eat high-quality proteins, and other stress-reduction techniques. Experts also suggest consulting a primary doctor when a stressful event is expected to acquire necessary prescriptions.

5. Hives and rashes

Stress can mess up a person’s gut and cause imbalance and increased bad bacteria, which also leads to dysbiosis. This chain of health issues results in hives and rashes that may cause a tingling or burning sensation or can be itchy. Most stress-induced hives and rashes typically appear on the arms, chest, and face. Generally, these go away within a few days but usually reappear.

To relieve the itching and swelling, using home treatments like ice packs and cool compress are ideal. Pharmacists may also advise taking an over-the-counter antihistamine to relieve soothe the symptoms. For people with existing skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, stress may also worsen these.

Harmful and unhealthy events can do lead to stress, regardless if they are perceived or real. This reaction is often the cause of several medical conditions torturing many patients now. But as healthcare professionals and medical institutions continue to focus on such mental and physical conditions, there will be a bigger chance for individuals to cope with it.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.