You know the saying, "You wear your emotions on your sleeve?" Well, it's probably more accurate to say you wear your emotions on your skin. How you feel on the inside can influence how you look on the outside. Adopting daily healthy habits is essential for looking and feeling your best.
A person's emotional state, which can include stress, depression and anxiety, is often reflected on his or her skin. Dark circles or bags under the eyes, wrinkles, acne, ashen or discolored skin, eczema and many other conditions are linked between the mind and the skin. Though you can't always control how you feel, you can effectively manage your skin to help mask some internal struggles you may be experiencing.
• Re-evaluate your diet -- There's some truth in the phrase: You are what you eat. The foods you choose can affect your mood, appearance and your body's ability to perform physically. Eating a diet that's high in fruits and vegetables and low in fats and grease will make you feel better and improve the health of your skin.
• Replenish your thirst -- Combat dry, itchy skin by drinking plenty of water. Water enriches your skin with the vital moisture it needs from the inside out. If you use facial moisturizer, be sure it's labeled "oil-free" to help prevent clogged pores and acne outbreaks.
• Cleanse and purify -- Clean your face each morning and night with face wash that's appropriate for your skin type. Remove all traces of makeup. Do not over clean or exfoliate your skin, as you can make your condition worse or cause skin to dry out quicker.
• Seeking professional help -- If your skin does not improve, professional help from a dermatologist should be considered. If you fear your mental well-being may be contributing to your lack of success, specialized help from a therapist may be needed.
Stress vs. skin -- win the battle
Stress can wreak havoc on our skin, making current conditions worse or bringing new ones to the surface. Those who suffer from acne, psoriasis, rosacea or fever blisters often stress over their appearance -- thus making the condition worse. Chemically, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol when we're stressed, which can increase our skin's oil production and vulnerability to pimples.
To help improve stress-induced skin conditions, try to find the source of stress and reduce it. If your skin condition is the source of your stress, seek professional help if over-the-counter products haven't worked. Research shows that when you treat both skin and stress, your skin often improves more quickly.
Janet Bilyeu, APRN, of Siloam Springs Family Medicine, can treat the whole family and is accepting new and walk-in patients. Same-day appointments are available. To schedule an appointment today, call 479-215-3035. Siloam Springs Family Medicine is located at 3721 E. US 412 Hwy. in Siloam Springs.