by Blake Herzog
The negative effect of stress on the heart is the most immediately life-threatening, but the misery and imbalances it causes can also show itself prominently in your skin, making it all too obvious to everybody what you’re going through.
Whether most of your interactions these days are at the office, at home or over Zoom, your skin can serve as a window into your body and whatever turmoil it’s experiencing due to stress. But attacking the problem from both sides can resolve your skin stress issues more quickly than you’d expect.
Learn how to turn to some quick-fix stress busters that in many cases can derail its buildup before it even starts — plaster on a smile even if you’re not feeling it, get some of the clutter off of your desk. Even vigorously chewing gum can break its hold on you.
Drill down into what’s causing the stress and address it the best way you can, whether it’s confronting a harmful situation or turning to longer-term practices like yoga or meditation when the stressor is harder to eliminate.
If tension has found its way into knotted-up muscles in your back, legs or arms, try using a foam roller to draw more blood flow to those areas and release them into comfortable stretches.
Stress can cause our skin to overproduce oil by scrambling hormonal signals to our glands, but the breakouts that result can be quickly treated with salicylic acid, though it should be used sparingly to not dry out the surrounding skin.
If small wounds on your skin are not healing as quickly as they normally do as a possible side effect of stress, try using products with glycerin and hyaluronic acid to repair your skin barrier, and get foods with plenty of antioxidants into your diet.
Eczema, psoriasis and rosacea are common skin conditions that can be triggered by stress. Follow your health care provider’s recommendations and use prescriptions to keep these under control, along with reducing the stressful elements of your life as much as possible.