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Skin Messed Up By Stress, Will It Return Back To "normal"?

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So lately, I've been under extreme levels of stress and anxiety. I stressed out big time over everything, but mostly on my acne returning. Last Sep 2012, i had a horrendous breakout from maybe wrong skin care, body changes(was 23, now 24), poor diet and stopping BP. The breakouts lasted for about a year and eventually subsided but i did have very mild acne which makeup covered beautifully. During March was the time when my acne was the when March of this year rolled around, i freaked out.
I noticed ALOT of changes in my skin from all this stress, which stresses me out even more and there is not end to it! It's just sad because i am doing this to myself but at the same time, i cannot help it! During the extreme period of stress and anxiety, I've noticed:
--more acne...inflamed and lots of clogged pores
--reoccurring acne on chin which is stress/hormones related
--more hair on face(I usually have some facial hair, but they were not as noticeable)
--DEHYDRATED skin...some days my skin would be dry but oily under the dry skin. My skin would also look really really shiny even after washing
--Dead skin...this was not easily removed by exfoliating, i have tried but every time i exfoliated, i'd still have that a layer of skin which felt it was suffocating my skin underneath
--Sensitive skin...very very sensitive and red
--Random rashes on my face and body over all complexion was horrible, i would look pale, dull, acne marks, shiny and clogged...i looked like death
--Dark, dark and baggy eyes...i know my sleeping quality is's hard to get this back on track...
Okay...i know i brought this on myself, but like i said, i cannot help it. I know for a fact that STRESS is a main cause of my acne. So my question is, are these symptoms of stress? Is it reversible? Am i doomed to this for life? I don't know what to tell myself or what to believe anymore. Please don't tell me to simply "STOP STRESSING"...i am trying!

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I agree with you about stress being an acne contributor, at least for me. Frankly, I think you can even worry/stress yourself into illness if if it gets too far out of control. It is an issue I have really been working on for about the last year. In general you need to learn how to manage your stress. This involves being able to identify things that trigger the stress, and having methods to deal with them when they occur. If you are a "people pleaser" kind of person you may have stop being that way. Don't be afraid to tell someone that they are stressing you out. Practice the serenity prayer in your lifestyle. There is a lot of stress management literature and classes available. Check into that. Don't fret, you can overcome the stress problem.

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Good advice from torquemonster there. In fact, other than genetics, stress is the main reason we get acne. The way we react to stress is also influenced by our personality. Androgens, cortisol and substance are all linked to stress and therefore acne. However, I have never met a physician who agreed. If your physician says stress isn't a factor, tell him to go back to medical school or read these peer reviewed articles (among many others):

Chiu, Chon & Kimbal, 2003. The Response of Skin Disease to Stress: Changes in the Severity of Acne Vulgaris as Affected by Examination Stress, Archives of Dermatology, 139 (7), pp 897-900

Lorenz, Graham & Wolf, 1953. The Relation of Life Stress and Emotions to Human Sebum Secretion and to the Mechanism of Acne Vulgaris. Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, 41 (1), pp 11-28

Also, I recommend IBMT (Integrated Body Mind Training) particularly "body scan" techniques. They have greatly helped me reduce stress and resultant acne. Don't worry, acne IS of course reversible.

Hope this helps Daze123,


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