If you've ever been under chronic stress or have anxiety, you know what I'm talking about when I say that it's painful. Yes, it is emotionally exhausting to constantly live with your mind telling you that your worst fears are very real. Learning to make peace with the fact that anything could trigger your anxiety and take you from zen to feeling like you're having a heart attack, isn't easy. And sometimes it can even be physically painful - you feel like your heart is racing, you can't sleep and sometimes you just feel like you're hurting inside.
But did you know that anxiety could also be affecting your skin and hair? Yep, anxiety is a known trigger for most skin and hair woes too.
Sometimes we see people, especially people with anxiety biting their fingernails or incessantly shaking their legs. For other people, anxiety could lead them to pick at their skin. If you can see this pattern with yourself, trying therapy and de-stressing activities like yoga and meditation could really benefit you.
Your scalp could also be affected by your mental health and hair fall and stress have a deep correlation. This has especially been seen during a significant life event like pregnancy, surgery, certain medication etc. If you are noticing more hair falling out than usual then you should see a dermatologist but also be mindful to keep stress levels in check.
Anxiety could lead to a skin rash that causes dry and flaky skin. This could lead to redness, itchiness in patches, and dandruff as well. Because having a skin condition can sometimes lead to low self-esteem and psychological distress- treating the skin problem and the underlying cause which is the anxiety together is key.
Sometimes chronic and extreme anxiety can cause a condition called vitiligo which is when you start losing pigment in parts of your skin- you'll see the appearance of spots and areas of hyperpigmentation as well as places where the skin tone is uneven.
Sometimes when you're going through an intensely anxious phase, you may notice that your skin feels more itchy than usual. This may be because the neural condition you're in during an anxious phase might make you hyper-sensitive to itching. Keep your skin moisturised and hydrated and if need be see a skin specialist and try to de-stress.
Stress is one of the leading causes of breakouts. When you're stressed or anxious, your skin releases cortisol. This, in turn, increases oil production in the skin which then causes pimples and acne. You can try out some natural home remedies to reduce acne or you could seek solace in stress-busting activities like art therapy, journaling, working out. While these methods will take time to bring your skin back on track, they're definitely a healthier alternative to acne medication.
We just want to remind you that anxiety is a treatable mental health issue, you just have to take the first step and seek help. Booking yourself an appointment with a mental health professional, finding balance in everyday life and indulging in a daily routine that de-stresses you will help you in the long run.