Emotional stress can be difficult to define. It’s an invisible, immeasurable force that can exist in nearly every facet of our day-to-day lives, even if we are not aware of it. Living in a state of stress can impact both mental and physical health – causing muscle tension, making the heart and lungs to work harder, upsetting digestion and releasing hormones that affect the brain and reproductive systems.
It's well known that stress is a top trigger for rosacea flare-ups, but new research may point to the direct effect stress has on the skin.
New medical research into the process of facial flushing and redness has found that individuals with rosacea produce greater nerve, blood flow and sweating responses than people without the disorder when exposed to increased heat or stress. Results of the National Rosacea Society-funded study also uncovered a role for the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the “fight or flight” response and other key involuntary functions such as heart rate, digestion, breathing and perspiration.
Christine Patterson does not go so far as to call her dermatologist a miracle worker, but she is effusive with her praise for the doctor who helped her overcome her severe flare-ups of papules and pustules.
"It was amazing how in two years' time I went from a horrible breakout to almost clear skin," said Christine, a 62-year-old medical coder from Arkansas. "Even with the stress I've had this year — I thought I was having a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital — my rosacea didn't flare up."
Although emotional stress is reported to be one of the most common rosacea triggers, effective stress management can lead to a reduction in the number of stress-related flare-ups, according to results of a new National Rosacea Society (NRS) survey.
Daily life can be filled with tension and urgent pressures. For many, this everyday stress is a leading trigger for rosacea flare-ups. Try these techniques suggested by experts and patients to reduce stress and help keep rosacea in check.
While emotional stress is one of the leading causes of rosacea flare-ups, stress management can be highly effective in reducing its impact, according to a new survey conducted by the National Rosacea Society.
In a survey of more than 700 rosacea patients, 91 percent reported that emotional stress caused or sometimes caused their rosacea to flare up. Stress reportedly led to frequent flare-ups for 45 percent of the survey respondents and occasional flare-ups for 42 percent. Only 10 percent indicated that stress rarely affected their rosacea.
Denise Balzo had always taken great pains to look her best. She exercised nearly every day and was blessed with a clear complexion. Then, two years ago the heartache began.
"It started after a death in my family," Balzo said. "I was under such tremendous stress, I started to break out."
Balzo developed a red area on her cheeks and across her nose. More alarming than the redness, though, was the severity of the bumps and pimples that appeared.