How Stress Affects Pre-Existing Skin Conditions

Woman stressed out How Stress Affects Pre-Existing Skin Conditions

A stressful week can certainly lead to a few extra breakouts. But for people with pre-existing skin conditions, the effect of stress can be much more noticeable. Uncomfortable flare ups might be your reality if you have a condition like eczema or psoriasis. Here’s what to know about stress, your skin, and flare up prevention.

How Stress Impacts Your Skin

Stress & Skin Conditions: What You Should Know

Stress can take a toll on both the body and mind, and the skin is no exception. But how exactly does stress affect pre-existing skin conditions? When the body experiences stress, it triggers the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones are harmless and often helpful in small does. However, a prolonged stress response can increase inflammation and hinder the immune system.

If you have a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, this dip in immunity and spike in inflammation could mean a flare up. It’s also common for people to experience stress hair loss and stress hives.

When you notice that your skin condition is acting up, it’s always important to see your dermatologist. They can recommend treatment for stress eczema, psoriasis, hives, and hair loss, so you can find some relief. However, it’s also helpful to get to the root of the issue. If you experience flare ups when you’re stressed, caring for yourself and practicing stress management may help you find relief.

How to Care for Your Skin While Stressed

Caring for your skin might be the last thing on your mind when you’re feeling stressed out. But remember that everything is connected. De-stressing can help both your mind and complexion. Here are some ideas for some skin-focused self care.

  • Do Your Skincare Routine: Self care is one of the first things to slip when you’re feeling stressed. But skipping your skincare routine before bed can lead to breakouts, dryness, and irritation, especially if you have an existing skin condition. Try to take a moment for yourself every day and do your dermatologist-approved skincare routine, no matter your mental state.

  • Unwind at Night: A restful night of sleep is another magic ingredient for your skin health. Sleep can feel impossible when you’re feeling stressed, so try to take some time in the evening to unwind. Take a relaxing bath, unplug before heading to bed, and play some soothing music. You might just feel your stress melt away.

  • Schedule a Treatment: Sometimes all you need is a break–and a little extra pampering. When you’re having a particularly stressful week, consider booking a cosmetic dermatology service like a facial or exfoliating treatment. The benefits are twofold: you can enjoy a moment of calm while also calming your skin condition. If you have a condition like eczema or psoriasis, your dermatologist will tell you which treatments are safe.


Living with a skin condition can feel like an uphill battle, especially when you’re feeling stressed as well. The providers at Pacific Dermatology Specialists are proud to offer cosmetic, medical, and surgical services to support your skin’s health, no matter which conditions you’re facing. We have locations in Seal Beach, CA and other communities in the Orange County area. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at an office near you.

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