Holiday stress and skin problems may seem an unlikely combination, but the truth is some skin conditions can be exacerbated by stress.
Inflammatory dermatologic conditions such as acne, rosacea and psoriasis can flare around holiday time. The busyness of the season including work and family get-togethers, gift buying, baking, cooking and so on stimulate cortisol (known as the stress hormone), causing it to rise. The higher cortisol levels lead to an increase in oil production, which can, in turn, cause breakouts.
Even those who don’t normally suffer from acne or experience frequent breakouts can fall victim to holiday stress related skin problems.
The best way to avoid blemishes caused by stress is to relax and slow down. Try to stick to a reasonable routine and avoid overeating and overdrinking. Pay attention to your sleep schedule, and aim for a restful 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
Set aside a few minutes each day to practice stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, meditation, tai chi or other relaxation activities. Even a leisurely walk in the crisp air can help you unwind.
Keep up with your normal skin care routine and don’t take shortcuts. Remove make-up nightly before bed and keep skin clean and moisturized. Remember to apply daily sunblock with an SPF of at least 30, even during the winter months.
If you are still concerned about skin problems related to holiday stress, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist to discuss prevention and treatment options.