Stress and Eczema: What’s the Connection?

Stress and Eczema: What’s the Connection?

Eczema is a common, irritating skin condition that can be triggered by lots of things — from harsh soaps and scratchy fabrics to rapid temperature changes and getting too sweaty. Having eczema means following a gentle care routine if you want to avoid painful flare-ups — but what does it mean when you’re careful about your eczema treatment plan and you’re still suffering frequent symptoms?

It might be time to take a closer look at your mental health. Eczema is a type of dermatitis, and while some of the most common triggers are physical, high stress levels can make your eczema worse, too.

Finding a treatment plan that works for you means addressing all of your triggers, physical and mental alike. At Allergy & Environmental Treatment Center LLC, our team takes a holistic approach to helping you navigate the connection between stress and eczema so you can enjoy life with fewer flare-ups.

The connections between stress and eczema

Stress is one of the most common eczema triggers among adults. In fact, more than 30% of people with eczema have also been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. 

Stress is your body’s natural reaction to feeling mentally overwhelmed. When you feel stressed, your autonomic nervous system activates and you experience a fight-or-flight response.

Almost everyone feels stress from time to time. Stress stimulates you to be more alert and helps you adapt to new situations, but when stress becomes chronic, it stops serving a useful purpose. Chronic, unmanaged stress can exacerbate skin conditions, including eczema. 

But how does mental stress affect your skin? The answer lies in your body’s response to stress. Experiencing stress increases cortisol levels in your body, causing wear-and-tear in both physical and emotional ways. Cortisol can increase oil production in your skin over time, making eczema worse. 

Plus, mental stress can slow your body’s ability to heal and recover. That means eczema flare-ups may be more severe and last longer, which can cause more stress and create a cyclical pattern.

Are you stressed?

Stress is common. It can come from work, school, relationships, and countless other situations.

You might know that you feel stressed, but you could be surprised to know that sometimes, stress isn’t so obvious. You may be under stress without realizing just how much it’s affecting you.

Some common signs of stress are:

Everyone experiences stress differently. If you have eczema and you think that stress could be making it worse, our team at Allergy & Environmental Treatment Center LLC can help.

Finding ways to manage your stress levels

There are many different ways to manage stress levels, improve your health, and avoid eczema flare-ups. Introducing healthy stress management habits can make a big difference for your eczema — and your general well-being. 

Regular physical exercise and a healthy diet help your body function and feel its best. Along with these healthy habits, consider practicing relaxation techniques, like meditation, to slow your mind and unwind each day.

Stay connected with supportive family and friends, and try setting goals in your professional and personal life to stay focused and feel more accomplished. If you find yourself struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety, talking to a mental health professional can give you tools to navigate stress more effectively.

Our team can develop a personalized eczema treatment plan for your needs and help you learn more about ways to lower stress levels. Call our Scottsdale, Arizona, office at 480-634-2985 or book an appointment online now.

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