Stress & Your Skin: 6 Common Issues to Watch Out For

Girl stressed and rubbing her skin Stress & Your Skin: 6 Common Issues to Watch Out For

While everyone has stressful days from time to time, long-term stress can take a toll on your overall health. And your skin is no exception. Your stress levels and skin are closely linked, so you might notice issues like skin rashes and acne when you’re under pressure. Here are some common skin issues that might pop up when you’re stressed, as well as what you can do about them.

How Stress Can Affect Your Skin

Dry Skin

Stress may weaken the skin’s barrier, which hinders your skin’s ability to retain water. An increase in perspiration may also lead to dry and dehydrated skin. Do your best to stay hydrated when you’re under stress to keep your complexion smooth and bright. You should also be extra diligent about moisturizer, applying a non-comedogenic and unscented lotion throughout the day.

Skin Rashes

If you break out in a rash when you’re particularly stressed, you’re not alone. Stress can weaken your immune system, which may lead to a dry skin rash or redness. It’s also important to note that stress can cause flare ups of conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Talk to your dermatologist about how to best manage these flare ups.


Stress can increase your skin’s oil production. This is why you might breakout more during a busy or stressful week. Fortunately, sticking to your skin care routine when you’re busy may keep these breakouts in check. You may also consider dermatology treatments like laser therapy, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion to recover from a particularly severe breakout. Topical acne treatments may also target problem areas when you’re stressed.


Long-term stress may play a role in premature aging, reducing elasticity in the skin. This loss in elasticity can cause wrinkles to form. If you’re concerned about stress-related signs of aging, book an appointment with a cosmetic dermatologist. Treatments like injectable dermal fillers and laser therapy can smooth out the skin for a more youthful appearance.

Hair Changes

Stress can affect your hair in a number of ways. One of the most noticeable is hair loss. Stress in the body can cause hair to fall out or stop growing altogether. This hair loss or thinning can be made worse if you’re not eating a balanced diet while stressed. While addressing the stress at the root may slow or stop this hair loss, a dermatologist can help in the meantime. Alternatively, some people will notice changes like oily hair or scalp dryness as a result of stress.

Thin Nails

Stress affects the nails similarly to the hair. After a period of stress, you may notice that your nails are thin and brittle. If you’re concerned about the shape, texture, or overall health of your nails, see a dermatologist. Lifestyle changes like eating a balanced diet and lowering stress levels may help improve nail thickness.

Stress can affect the whole body, so prioritizing your overall well-being is a must. The team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists is here to help you relax and treat yourself to a skin treatment. Whether you have a specific skin concern or want to prevent issues down the line, our experts can recommend a variety of cosmetic dermatology treatments. With locations in Seal Beach, CA and other communities in the Greater Los Angeles area, we also offer medical and surgical services for our clients. Contact us today to get started.

Request an Appointment