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Role Of Stress In Acne And How To Manage It


There are countless patients who struggle with acne, no matter how many topical creams or cleansers they use, they just don’t go away. Many of these patients are surprised to learn that stress can actually play a significant role in the development of acne. Studies have shown that stress can trigger a cascade of hormonal changes in the body that can increase inflammation and oil production in the skin, leading to acne breakouts. According to a survey by the American Academy of Dermatology, 71% of respondents believed that stress contributed to their acne breakouts (American Academy of Dermatology, 2018). There are various acne specialists in NJ who claim that stress is one of the major reasons for acne. 


Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies that you can use to manage stress and reduce the impact that it has on our skin. Let’s explore in a little more detail about the relationship between stress and acne as well as some tips to manage stress and achieve clear skin. 

Understanding the Relationship Between Stress and Acne


Under stress, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol triggers your sebaceous glands that produce more oil, that leads to clogged pores and acne breakouts. Stress can also cause inflammation in the body, which can exacerbate existing acne and make it more difficult to heal.


In addition to these physiological changes, stress can also impact your behavior in ways that can contribute to acne. For example, when you are stressed, you may be more likely to engage in behaviors like picking at your skin, which can worsen existing acne and lead to scarring.


Managing Stress to Improve Acne

Fortunately, there are a number of effective strategies that you can use to manage stress and reduce the impact that it has on your skin. Here are a few tips to consider:


Practice stress-reducing techniques: There are many different techniques that can help to reduce stress, including meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you.


Exercise regularly: Exercise can help to reduce stress and promote overall health. Try to engage in physical activity on a regular basis, whether it’s going for a run, taking a fitness class, or simply going for a walk.


Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can increase stress and lead to increased cortisol levels in the body. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night to help keep stress levels in check.


Eat a healthy diet: Eating a well-balanced diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help to support overall health and reduce inflammation in the body.


Avoid triggers: Identify the things that tend to trigger your stress levels and try to avoid them as much as possible. This may mean avoiding certain people, places, or situations that cause you to feel stressed.


Seek professional help: If you are struggling with chronic stress or anxiety, consider speaking with a mental health professional who can help you develop effective coping strategies.




While stress can be a major contributor to acne breakouts, there are many things that you can do to manage stress and improve the overall health of your skin. By practicing stress-reducing techniques, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding triggers, you can help to keep your stress levels in check and reduce the impact that stress has on your skin. If you’re struggling with acne or other skin concerns and feel anxious to go out and seek professional help, there are various acne specialists in NJ who can provide personalized advice and treatment options through eVisits and telehealth consultations.


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