Back to articles

Acne and stress

Released by Dr. Florence Poli the 2015-10-25
Acne and stress

Acne can be a cause of stress and anxiety, but it is also well known that stress can trigger or exacerbate it. 

Has this been proven?

Several scientific studies have shown that the skin’s cells that secrete sebum are sensitive to nerve stimulation.

A clinical study has revealed the onset of acne flare-ups in students during exam periods. This study showed a strong correlation between degree of stress and severity of acne at exam time. In one French study, half of the women interviewed, aged over 25 years attributed their acne to stress.

How does stress affect the skin?

Acne is an inflammation of the pilosebaceous follicle. It is the result of three events: blockage of the follicle by a plug of cells (comedone), the increased secretion of sebum by the sebaceous gland (seborrhoea) and the bacterial colonisation of the blocked follicle (spot).

The cells of the sebaceous gland have surface receptors which once activated and stimulated encourage the secretion of sebum. When we are stressed, we produce hormones (cortisol) and substances (neurotransmitters) capable of stimulating the sebaceous gland receptors. These receptors multiply and secrete more sebum and substances which cause inflammatory lesions. The skin is therefore more oily and acne lesions appear.

What can we suggest?

When acne breaks out or worsens in adult women, their stress factors should be looked into. It is not always easy to eliminate them, but doctors must factor them into their treatment. We must both reassure women about future changes in their acne and also try to reduce the aggravating factors.

Mots clés : acne stress

Our latest articles

Perspiration is an important natural process

As much as we’d like to be free of it, perspiration is a natural phenomenon that is essential for good health. It plays three important roles: -It helps regulate body temperature, keeping it at a steady 37°C/98.6°F. -It helps the metabolism eliminate waste and toxins present in the body. -It helps keep the skin moisturized: […]
Dr. Florence Poli
Voir le conseil

Dry skin : Good habits

Avoid products that contain allergenic fragrances or preservatives which could cause skin reactions. Use cleansers containing moisturizing active ingredients (glycerine, milk protein, shea butter) and surgras agents which restore the hydrolipidic film that protects the skin. Avoid alcohol-based lotions which tend to dry out the skin, Pat dry the skin rather than rub. Avoid overheated […]
Dr. Florence Poli
Voir le conseil

Acne and smoking

The effects of smoking on acne are controversial; the risk of it aggravating acne in adult women seems plausible. Has this been proven? Several studies have investigated the link between acne and smoking with conflicting results. Some studies have shown that tobacco protects against or alleviates acne, which is thought to stem from its anti-inflammatory […]
Dr. Florence Poli
Voir le conseil