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

Acne and diet

Acne sufferers and their parents have always suspected chocolate, pork and all “good things” of being responsible for acne and its aggravation. And these beliefs continue despite opposing medical opinion. But doctors’ are now changing their opinion!  Has this been proven? Studies first demonstrated the absence of acne in so-called primitive populations which have a […]
Dr. Florence Poli
Voir le conseil

Intimate cleaning: good habits

Don’t use shower gel to cleanse your intimate area because its pH is not suited to the vulvar flora which is more acid. Instead, use a specific cleanser with a soap-free, gentle cleansing base and a physiological pH. Wash your intimate area with your hand; don’t use a flannel, which is a breeding ground for […]
Dr. Anne De Kevasdoué
Voir le conseil

Intimate dryness

This is often confused with insufficient vaginal lubrication, something which is triggered by sexual desire. Intimate dryness however, is initially experienced as local discomfort throughout the day, and sometimes irritation. The mucous membranes of the vulva and/or vagina are pale, thinner and more fragile; they have lost their suppleness and elasticity. In some cases, fissures […]
Dr. Anne De Kevasdoué
Voir le conseil