How To Reduce And Manage Stress
Learning to reduce and manage your stress can be important in the treatment of your acne since stress can make your acne worse. Even if your environment or job isnt stressful to you, sometimes an acne breakout can cause emotional stress.
Some simple steps you can take to reduce stress include:
- taking a few deep breaths
- practicing meditation or yoga
- getting a good nights sleep
- maintaining a healthy diet
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- How severe is my acne?
- What lifestyle changes should I make to prevent hormonal acne from forming?
- What are the side effects to my acne treatment?
- Can I take this treatment if I become pregnant?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
It can be frustrating to see breakouts on your skin as an adult, considering they are most frequent among adolescents. Talk with your healthcare provider if your acne is persistent and they will be able to offer advanced treatment options to eliminate pesky pimples.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/10/2021.
Things To Try When Acne Wont Clear
The following tips from dermatologists can help you get started.
1. Give an acne treatment at least 4 weeks to work.Using a new acne product every few days may seem useful, but that approach can worsen acne. Acne treatment needs time to work. Using a different product every few days can also irritate your skin, causing new breakouts.
If a treatment works for you, you should notice some improvement in 4 to 6 weeks. It can take two to three months or longer to see clearing.
If you notice improvement, keep using the treatment. Even when you see clearing, you’ll want to keep using the acne treatment. This helps to prevent new breakouts.
When to see a dermatologist about acne?
Seeing a dermatologist can help prevent acne from worsening. You can benefit from seeing a dermatologist when acne:
Causes acne cysts and nodules
Hasnt cleared with treatment you can buy without a prescription
Makes you feel uncomfortable, and you want clearer skin
2. Attack the different causes of acne.If you dont see improvement after 4 to 6 weeks, add a second acne product to your treatment plan.
This approach can help attack the different causes of acne. Bacteria, clogged pores, oil, and inflammation can all cause acne.
Benzoyl peroxide decreases P. acnes bacteria
Retinoids, such as adapalene gel, unclog pores and reduce oiliness
Salicylic acid eases inflammation and unclogs pores
Won’t clog pores
Recommended Reading: How To Heal Cystic Acne
Add A Dose Of Hydration
Hydration is supremely important when it comes to dealing with acne. Because hydrated skin = lesser acne. And what better than hyaluronic acid? The SUGAR Aquaholic Hyaluronic Serum is enriched with cica, green tea, and aloe extracts that keep your skin looking soft, dewy and plump. Your acne-prone skin is going to love it!
Does Stress Cause Acne Directly
One study found a close association between emotional stress levels and the severity of acne breakouts. The researchers looked at students during final exams, a period of high psychological stress. They found that acne may get worse during this stressful time. So, while there may not be such a thing as stress-causing acne, stressful situations can make flare-ups worse, especially in acne-prone skin .
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Apply Green Tea To Your Skin
Green tea is very high in antioxidants, and drinking it can promote good health.
It may also help reduce acne. This is likely because the polyphenols in green tea help fight bacteria and reduce inflammation, which are two main causes of acne .
There isnt much research exploring the benefits of drinking green tea when it comes to acne, and more studies are needed.
In one small study with 80 women, participants took 1,500 mg of green tea extract daily for 4 weeks. By the end of the study, women who took the extract had less acne on their noses, chins, and around their mouths .
Research has also found that drinking green tea may lower blood sugar and insulin levels, which are factors that can contribute to the development of acne .
Many studies also indicate that applying green tea directly to the skin may help with acne.
Research shows that the main antioxidant in green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate reduces sebum production, fights inflammation, and inhibits the growth of P. acnes in individuals with acne-prone skin .
Multiple studies have found that applying green tea extract to the skin significantly reduces sebum production and pimples in those with acne .
You can buy creams and lotions that contain green tea, but its just as easy to make your own mixture at home.
Where On Your Body Does Stress Acne Pop Up
Typically, acne that’s been brought on by stress develops in the same areas you usually get acne, Dr. Truong says. So if your acne during a non-stressful time shows up on your forehead, then you can expect your stress acne to pop up on your forehead too. Other common places stress acne appears is along the jawline and chin. Although less common, it can also develop on the chest and back.
But going back to the jawline and chin: This past year, Dr. Lamb has seen an increase in breakouts in those areas due to the “maskne,” which is acne caused by facial irritation from wearing a face mask. ” follows the pattern of stress-induced acne. So is from the mask or is that from the stress? That begs the question,” she says.
Also Check: What’s The Cause Of Back Acne
Coping With Stress And Treating Acne
Everyone is cooped up at home listening to dire news reports with limited access to many of the activities that help us reduce stress. There are no organized sports for teenagers, no going to the movies with friends, nor trips to the gym. Anxiety is a normal reaction to the conditions were all facing. All that stress takes a toll on our bodies, and the effects on our skin are readily visible.
Use The Right Spot Treatment
Regularly using a spot treatment specifically designed to target and dry out acne can help you to get your clear skin back. The most common active ingredients used in these types of products are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, but you may want to discuss your options with your dermatologist before adding an acne treatment to your daily routine .
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Other Ways To Get Rid Of Stress Acne
Eating a healthy diet can reduce the negative effects of stress on your skin, too.
Dark leafy greens, omega-3 rich wild fish, avocado, and chia seeds are just a few of my favorite anti-stress foods.
Limit or avoid caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and other low-quality foods as they tend to exacerbate stress and stress hormones.
For more skin-clearing recipes and skincare tips and check out my Clear Skin Plan, a doctor-approved, science-backed 90-day program to clear your skin from within
How Stress Can Worsen The Acne Condition
When your body identifies stress, it starts to direct the flow of blood and oxygen to the areas which are essential for dealing with the stress. Because of this, the blood flow and oxygen is withdrawn from other places such as your skin. The lack of sufficient blood and oxygen affects your skin negatively, making it dull, lifeless and dehydrated. This in turn makes your skin prone to pores getting blocked and breakouts.
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How To Get Rid Of Stress Acne
The only efficient and effective way to stop stress related acne is to control your stress levels. So in order to understand how to reduce stress acne, you need to know how to control your stress. Below are some ways which can help you in dealing with all the unwanted stress and thereby avoiding unnecessary acne due to stress
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The Best Topical Treatments To Treat Stress Acne
When it does spring up, stress pimples respond best to a few specific topicals: salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol, Marchbein and Vega explain. Each ingredient works in different ways to combat breakouts. Salicylic acid can unclog pores, benzoyl peroxide is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, and retinol increases skin cell turnover rate.
That doesn’t mean that you should use all three at once, however. Instead, Vega recommends using retinol as a long-term solution, and keeping either a salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide product in your medicine cabinet to use as a spot treatment as needed.
Pimple patches can also be used as a spot treatment for acne, Marchbein suggests. “These are hydrocolloid adhesive stickers that contain certain active ingredients such as salicylic acid and/or tea tree oil, which are delivered to the pimple while its in place,” she explains. “By occluding the pimple, these active ingredients are able to penetrate the skin more deeply allowing them to potentially work better.”
For large, painful acne, “I would typically recommend heading to your dermatologist for a steroid injection to reduce the pain and inflammation of cystic breakouts,” Marchbein explains, however, “at this point, medical visits should be for true emergencies only.”
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How To Relieve Stress Breakouts
May 11, 2020
Stress is such a chronic problem in the U.S. that theres an entire research foundation dedicated to researching it by conducting annual surveys and providing a Stress in America Report that offers more information about how and why were all experiencing such high levels of stress. In light of recent events surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, many of us have good reason to be experiencing unprecedented levels of stress this year. The U.S. Dermatology Partners team is committed to keeping our patients safe and healthy now and beyond the pandemic, recognizing that the added stress our patients may be under means caring for their skin is more important than ever. Between stress and retail limitations making it difficult to get all of your skincare products, many people are dealing with more breakouts, especially if you already have acne-prone skin. Your dermatologists can help you better understand the way that stress can trigger breakouts, help you prevent issues before they happen, and offer recommendations to treat breakouts that do occur. Were here for you with teledermatology appointments using video chat, so you dont even need to leave home to address your breakouts. Keep reading to learn more about dealing with stress breakouts.
Out Damned Spot How To Get Rid Of Stress Acne
Your first stop is your local drugstore: Pick up some topical spot treatments, says Robin Evans, MD, a dermatologist in Connecticut.
Topical benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid are options, she says. Both are available over the counter and can be directly applied as a spot treatment to individual lesions or over the general affected area, as long as it doesnt cause too much dryness or irritation for you.
If youre experiencing a painful stress cyst, Evans also recommends a holding a warm or cold compress over the area to reduce pain and redness. Plain old ice can also do a surprising amount for stress acne.
For a double-whammy, super-cheap DIY treatment, consider making ice cubes from green tea, which has been shown in some clinical trials to help reduce sebum production. Saric S, et al. . Green tea and other tea polyphenols: Effects on sebum production and acne vulgaris.
Michele Green, MD, a dermatologist in New York City, recommends seeing your dermatologist for a more serious treatment regimen if stress acne poses a regular problem for you.
The sooner you act to get an appointment with your dermatologist, the better, because it will prevent or minimize acne scarring, Green says. Your dermatologist can prescribe medication to control and regulate hormones.
What Is Hormonal Acne
One definition of hormonal acne is acne caused by genetic and hormonal factors that cause breakouts well past puberty and the teenage years, or basically after someones early 20s.
The specific hormones that contribute to this type of acne include reproductive hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. While adult acne can affect both women and men, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, its more common among women, in part because its commonly tied to menstrual cycle changes along with menopause and pregnancy.
Talk To A Doctor About Hormone Pills
Birth control pills can help to prevent acne, by helping to regulate the hormones that may make acne worse.
However, these pills carry risks, so it is essential to review the benefits and side effects before making a decision.
Spironolactone, a medication often used to treat high blood pressure, may also help in cases of severe acne. However, spironolactone has many possible side effects, so it is best to speak to a doctor.
Read Also: What Does Cystic Acne Look Like
Who Gets Stress Acne
According to Dr. Truong, stress acne more commonly shows up for people who have a history or current diagnosis of acne. “Usually, it’s people who have had acne some time in their life as a teenager or maybe hormonal acne but then they’ve been pretty well-controlled and maintained on certain acne regimens or acne therapies. And then all of a sudden, they have a flare up or worsening of their acne for whatever reason and it doesn’t really make sense to them,” she explains. “And that’s when we start to really dive into, what is new, what has changed. And usually, it’s been a stressful trigger.”
Wash The Face Twice Daily
Acne is rarely the result of a dirty face, contrary to popular belief. However, it is important to remove excess dirt and oil from the skin by washing regularly.
Many people prefer to use a mild cleanser and warm water. Applying an oil-free moisturizer after washing can keep the skin from becoming too dry.
Over-washing the face may cause the skin to become dry, which can aggravate pimples.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Hormonal Acne
Stress Acne: Best Treatments According To Dermatologists
Acne affects more than 90% of the population at some point in their life. Recent studies show that adult acne affects more than 50% of women in their 20s and 25% of women in their 30s.
Acne flares up for many different reasons, including diet, exercise regimens, poor skin routine, hormone imbalances the list goes on and on. It typically impacts areas of the skin with many sebaceous follicles, including the face, chest, and back.
Despite the amount of research done around skincare, the relationship between acne and stress has been misunderstood for years. Contrary to popular belief, stress alone cannot directly cause acne. However, one thing is definite – stress hinders the skin’s healing process and can contribute to breakouts by affecting various systems within the body.
How To Stop Acne: What To Avoid For Better Skin
Most of us suffer from acne at some point in our lives. Usually, teenagers and adolescents are prone to skin acne challenges due to the hormonal change they experience in their bodies. However, proper acne spot treatment can be a challenge for such individuals. In many cases, scar remover treatments may not be effective. In others, acne scar removal can cost considerable amounts of money. Therefore, it is preferable to know how to stop acne by avoiding certain behaviors and products. Here, we have compiled a complete guide regarding such acne stopping actions, including:
Also Check: Why Do We Have Acne
Signs Your Acne Could Be Affected By Stress
Seeking the help of a dermatologist is the best way to determine the best acne management plan for you. That said, if you are feeling consistently stressed, there is only benefit in considering that it could be a factor in your acneespecially if you’ve focused on other contributors without much success.
While you can’t determine whether stress is influencing your acne conclusively, try taking note of when you get stressed and when you break out over a few weeks . Then, compare these time points to see if there are any correlations.
- If the breakouts tend to match up with the times that you are feeling stressed, there may be a link.
- If the breakouts do not tend to match up with the times you are feeling stressed, the acne is more likely to be related to environmental factors. Check to see if you always get your pimples in the same spots, such as on the side of your face where you hold your phone.
Also consider that the worsening of your acne could be related to stress-driven habits, rather than the stress itself. For example, drinking more coffee or using other stimulants can also lead to an increase in your production of cortisol and have an impact on your microbiome.
Adult acne can also be worsened by overlooking your personal hygiene needs, changing your diet, or rushing your skincare routineall things that can easily happen when you’re feeling stressed.