Stress and acne: Tips to prevent unpleasant acne outbreaks

Acne outbreak during teenage years

Majority of us definitely have heard of or know someone who faces acne problems. Acne is a common skin problem encountered by many regardless of age, especially teenagers. This is due to the rise in hormones during their teenage years, and the severity of the condition differs between individuals. However, did you know that acne can also be caused by unhealthy amounts of stress?

Briefly speaking, acne is caused by the clogging of pores due to the build up of oil and bacteria. Naturally, this leads to inflammation and swelling in the skin pores. Although there are many causes as to why acne happens, stress is not a direct cause to this problem.

However, despite stress not having a clear link to acne outbreaks, research has shown that stress does trigger inflammation within the body. As such, this worsens the existing acne issues, leading to an acne outbreak.

Where are your possible stress causes and symptoms?

As a teenager, stress can come from various areas such as family, friends, and academics. Before attempting to find ways to put a stop to the acne outbreak, it is crucial to find out the root cause of your stress. This will effectively prevent the issue from aggravating.

Stress checklist

Do you start to realise that you feel irritated easily? Or do you start to have trouble sleeping at night? If your answers to these questions are both a yes, this might be sending you a signal that you are under some stress. Here are some symptoms spotlighting your signs of stress:

  • Irritability behaviour / Sudden change in behaviour
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Change in the amount of food consumed
  • Getting sick more often than usual

How to prevent my acne outbreak from worsening?

There is no exact treatment to prevent acne from taking place. Nevertheless, there are some practices that you can adopt to avoid a worsened outbreak or to reclaim your healthy skin. With that being said, some of these measures will aid you in better managing your stress:

  • Adopt a fixed sleeping schedule: Having a regular sleep cycle is important for both physical as well as mental well-being. Furthermore, teenagers are recommended to sleep for 8 hours minimally.
  • Talk about your stress: Sometimes, it is better to speak out your concern and seek advice from loved ones or even trustworthy professionals.
  • Make time for activities you enjoy: while it is important to strive for good grades, it is also equally crucial to have a healthy balance between academics and fun.
  • Write about it: If you do not prefer to share your concerns with anyone, then this advice may work for you! Try writing down your concerns and problems. Surprisingly, it has been found that penning down your thoughts realises positive feelings.

What if I am still facing trouble managing my stress?

If you find yourself still struggling to cope with stress after trying multiple ways, speak to a Mental Wellness professional on the WhiteCoat app. Click here to find out more about our Mental Wellness service and click here to view our other blog posts.