Think of your health and wellness as a cup of water. Throughout your day, this cup is replenished with sleep, exercise, laughter, and various other forms of positive reinforcement.
Yet, there are pressures that can cause the water to gradually evaporate from your cup. These forces can include difficulties at school or work, relationship issues, and money problems as well as many other environmental factors.
Indicators of Stress
After a long stressful day, it's not uncommon to feel more annoyed and contentious leading you to have a less restful night’s sleep. These stressors can also contribute to reduced energy levels, lack of libido, and even alter aspects of your outward appearance such as, skin and hair health. Some common signs and symptoms of stress include:
How Stress Affects Your Body
Studies have found many emotional and physical issues related to stress, which include heart problems, hypertension, depression, and anxiety. According to Dr. Jay Winner, author of Take the Stress Out of Your Life, stress has also been shown to worsen conditions such as gastrointestinal problems and obesity.
Stress also makes the body vulnerable to an array of viral infections from the common cold to autoimmune diseases. Dr. Winner, who also directs the Stress Management Program for Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara, California explains that “Stress doesn't only make us feel awful emotionally, it can also exacerbate just about any health condition you can think of."
How Stress Affects Your Skin
There are very few diseases that stress does not impact. In addition, stress can generate a chemical response that may result in skin reactions such as rashes, hives or atopic dermatitis.
This is the reason that some people experience an increase in breakouts when under stress. Stress signals the body to release cortisol, which is a hormone that makes the skin oilier. Consequently, when excess oil is trapped in hair follicles, the skin is more susceptible to acne and other flare-ups.
Psoriasis is a very common condition that occurs when skin cells build upon the surface of the body in the form of scaly patches. Scales usually form on the knees and elbows but can develop in other places. Most people experience mild itching and burning around the affected area.
Psoriasis affects over 7.5 million Americans a year, and there is no cure. Symptoms are typically managed by the use of topical ointments and moisturizers however, lifestyle changes may help.
The cause of eczema is unknown but the symptoms include intense itching, rash, blisters with oozing, and leathery patches that stem from long-term constant scratching.
The condition is triggered by excessive heat or cold, contact with rough material and pet dander however, stress makes it worse. Eczema is seen most often on the elbow crook and on the backs of the knees. It is generally treated with either a mild over-the-counter or stronger prescription medication.
Hives are red, itchy spots or welts on the skin. They are different sizes and occur in various parts of the body. Sometimes, they are caused by an allergic reaction to food, medicine or chemicals but chronic hives may be the result of an immune response triggered by the environment, extreme exercise, and stress.
Hives are usually treated with a non-prescription antihistamine, which should relieve the itching. However, if the rash is severe a doctor may prescribe steroids or antibiotics.
Ways to Reduce Stress
Stress can’t be removed from anyone's life completely, but there are ways to handle it better. If you are dedicated to handling stress effectively, the following steps are proven methods that can assist you in managing the inevitable stress that everyone faces in life.
Often, people resort to unhealthy coping methods to manage their stress such as smoking or excessive alcohol use. This creates a vicious cycle that can be hard to break. However, Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring non-psychoactive element found in the cannabis plant.
Cannabidiol or CBD oil has become an accepted natural alternative for a variety of health-related issues including stress and anxiety. In addition, there are many other natural supplements that have proven effective in reducing stress and anxiety, some of which include:
CBD for Skin Conditions
The Journal of Experimental Dermatology states that cannabinoids can be an effective therapeutic option in treating skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. Topical CBD products are a viable solution for individuals with skin issues who prefer not to use chemicals or mass-produced products.
CBD is an effective external treatment for individuals with itchy skin. Anecdotal evidence has shown that the natural anti-inflammatory characteristics of CBD topical lotions, oils, and creams can significantly reduce the symptoms of skin irritations.
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