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Acne and Stress

Believe it or not, stress can actually be your cause for acne. A study at a German university has proven the stress theory. Another study found that acne worsened in students that were under stress from exams. They discovered that when you are under stress, your body releases a chemical called CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone.)

During times of stress, CRH is released from the hypothalamus to create a hormone called cortisol that is responsible for creating enough energy for the brain amongst other things.

The problem with CRH is that it also causes the oil glands in the skin to produce more oil (sembum). When there is excess oil in the skin, the pores are prone to getting clogged.

When the oil is combined with bacteria, dirt, dead skin cells, and cell waste it creates the condition of acne.

Dr Jerome Litt, A German dermatologist, believes stress also increases production of androgens. Androgens are the male growth hormone that regulate skin oil production and is produced in large quantities during puberty which is why the most severe acne sufferers are teenagers.

Any type of stress can cause the above problems. Stress is defined as mental or physical tension that results from physical, emotional, or chemical causes. Things such as worry, anxiety, fear and anger are all different types of stress and should be avoided where possible.

There are many great ways to reduce and relieve stress. One of the easiest and most effective ways is through exercise.

When you exercise, your body begins to release chemicals called endorphins. Endorphines make you ‘feel good’ as they are a natural pain-killer and are very effective in combating stress.

Even simple laughter is known to release endorphins into the body. There have been studies that have shown that the body also releases at least 4 hormones that are all related to stress.

Diet is also important for emotional and psychological well-being which is important for avoiding stress. Stress arises when you are out-of-sorts and depressed. When you are happy you are less likely to be bothered or stressed out by certain happenings.

Vitamins are required by the body when under stress. Vitamin B is essential for mental health and deficiencies can lead to depression, lack of concentration and tiredness, all perfect conditions for stress from normal everyday problems.

Other practices such as meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, massage, use of herbs, incense, aromatherapy and bath salts are also excellent ways to reduce stress and all help you to relax.

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