Is Your Skin Stressed?

Dr Maryam Zamani
By Dr Maryam Zamani

Dr. Maryam Zamani is one of the worlds leading Oculoplastic Surgeons and Facial Aesthetics Doctors. She specialises in surgical and non-surgical facial aesthetic procedures at her practice in London.


In recognition of international stress awareness, Dr Maryam Zamani discusses how the skin looks when affected by the condition, and how to care for stressed-out skin.

How Does Stress Display on the Skin?

"Stress has multiple and wide impacts on skin and skin disease. The body's stress response creates a cascade of events which result in the release of cortisol, catecholamines, and neuropeptides. Together, this has been shown to increase skin inflammation, itching, impair skin barrier function and wound healing, and suppress immunity. Specifically in skin, multiple conditions can be triggered or aggravated by stress, such as: psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, acne, contact dermatitis, alopecia areata, itch or pruritus, and erythema."

How does stress display on the skin?

Does Stress Age Me?

“Stress can cause detrimental physiological and functional consequences in the skin. Skin ageing is characterised by the formation of lines and wrinkles, increased pigmentation, loss of elasticity and firmness, and dull skin; this can be caused by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. While the exact mechanism of how stress impacts skin ageing is still being studied, we do know that epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol increase DNA damage, interfere with DNA repair, and alter transcriptional regulation of the cell cycle.

UV irradiation, smoking and air pollution have been confirmed as critical chronic stressors that impact skin ageing significantly. Telomere shortening has emerged as another possible cellular mechanism linking chronic psychological stress and ageing. Various chronic stress situations have been associated with shorter telomere length, including caregiving for a family member with chronic conditions or elderly dementia patients, major depression, childhood adversity, and exposure to intimate partner violence. Recent studies have also shown the negative effect of sleep deprivation on skin ageing. Lack of sleep creates increased signs of intrinsic skin ageing like fine lines, uneven pigmentation and reduced elasticity. Skin also recovers more slowly after skin barrier disruption.”

What Treatments Help With the Imprint Stress Leaves on the Skin?

“Mind-body therapies have been shown to ameliorate some of the harmful physiological changes attributed to stress or to reduce harmful behaviours. Treatments such as meditation, biofeedback, hypnosis, guided imagery and more have been evaluated in the treatment of skin disease and have shown some benefits. Interventions have had beneficial outcomes in diseases such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, trichotillomania and others.

There are treatments that can be used to help diminish the negative effects of stress. Creating a consistent and simple skincare routine to reveal, enhance and protect the skin is an effective foundation. Repairing the skin barrier is essential, a healthy and functional skin barrier is important against dehydration and penetration of allergens and irritants. Stay away from aggressive treatments. Invest in gentle exfoliation to create an inviting environment for nutrients to enhance the skin. Go for antioxidants and skin nourishers - think of vitamins C, E and A to protect and enhance collagen and elastin production. Find products rich in ceramides to lock in hydration and hydrators like glycerine, hyaluronic acid and squalene. Led can also help reduce skin inflammation, improve skin health and help reduce stress.

In-office treatments can be applied to help target effects such as fine line, wrinkles and pigmentation.”

EyeBright: "Uses a synergy of treatments, including dermal fillers and mesotherapy to rejuvenate the delicate skin around the eyes without resorting to more invasive surgery, helping to define the contours and restore lost volume with natural-looking results. Improvement of skin texture and tone are generally noticeable within three weeks, but full collagen regeneration can take up to three months."

From £1,350 per session.

Skin Boosters: "Are hyaluronic acid injectables that nourish the skin and deliver deep hydration for lasting moisture and improvement of the skin’s surface with improved collagen and elastin production."

Starts from £500 per syringe.

MOXI: "A gentle, fractional, non-ablative diode laser resurfacing treatment that can be used on all skin tones to promote new cell growth and reduce unwanted pigmentation with less downtime than more aggressive laser treatments. MOXI is even suitable for younger patients wishing to revitalise and refresh their skin!"

From £1,250

PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma): “An effective and natural therapy that releases growth factors within the skin that are responsible for stimulating collagen and elastin production. As well as an excellent anti-ageing treatment, it can be used to treat certain blemishes (such as acne marks), plus stretch marks and dark circles around the eyes.”

From £800

If you want to read more, the experts at Consulting Room really know what they're talking about and have put together acne, lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, dermal fillers, mesotherapy complexion Improvement, fractional laser skin resurfacing, Platelet Rich Plasma, stretch marks and dark circles FAQs just for you.

If you have more questions, you can use the acne, lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, dermal fillers, mesotherapy, complexion Improvement, fractional laser skin resurfacing, Platelet Rich Plasma, stretch marks and dark circles questions feature to talk to our panel of trained medical experts. 

If you're keen to get started with any of these treatments right away then you're in luck - those clever folks also have a list of trusted, accredited acne, lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, dermal fillers, mesotherapy, complexion Improvement, fractional laser skin resurfacing, Platelet Rich Plasma, stretch marks and dark circles clinics in your area.


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