Q: I have been under a lot of stress lately. I struggled with a mild case of acne as a teenager, but haven’t had any problems as an adult until now. I’m almost 30 years old with a face full of acne! Someone told me that stress causes acne. Is it true?
A: No, stress does not cause acne. It can, however, trigger acne in people who are prone to it. Studies have shown that high levels of stress can cause an increase in cortisol, a hormone released by the adrenal gland, which increases the production of sebum (oil) in the oil glands. Acne occurs when oil glands produce too much sebum resulting in pimples, cysts and blackheads.
Though stress may not be the cause of your acne, it certainly will continue to aggravate it unless you get it under control! Find ways to relieve your stress: meditate; take long walks; surround yourself with positive people who bring you peace. It’s important not just for your skin; but, for your mental and physical wellbeing.