Can Pimples Be Caused By Stress?

Written by Priyanka Agarwal, Writer at Hola Health
Medically Reviewed by Amira Shah, MA in Couselling Psychology, Registered Psychotherapist, B.Ed with Guidance & Councelling B.Arts
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Types of acne

Everybody’s experience with acne is different. While some people get tiny pimples, others may get severe acne that causes big and painful cysts under their skin. Here’s a simple guide to help you understand the various types of acne, from mild breakouts to distressing cystic acne.

1. Mild acne

If the majority of your pimple outbreaks are whiteheads and blackheads, you most likely have mild acne. When the pore’s opening closes and the hair follicle fills with oil and dead skin cells, a whitehead forms. On the other hand, a blackhead develops when a dark clog of oil and dead skin cells obstruct the pore’s entrance. A blackhead forms as the surface darkens due to a chemical reaction. 

If you have mild acne, you’ve got nothing to worry about as it can be reduced with early intervention. Pharmacies and supermarkets have a variety of high-quality medications that can be used to treat minor acne without a prescription.

It is advisable to use a gentle cleanser and avoid makeup products to get rid of whiteheads and blackheads quickly.

2. Moderate acne

You may have moderate acne if you notice papules and pustules. Pustules are raised reddish bumps with white centres while papules are reddish bumps found in the face or the torso. Unlike mild pimples, moderate acne persists for a longer period. It’s best to seek help for moderate acne as soon as possible, as it may leave a permanent scar on your skin if it is not treated properly.

3. Severe cystic acne

Severe acne is characterised by painful lumps or cysts under your skin. Compared to moderate acne, these breakouts affect a larger portion of your face or body and persist longer, often lasting months or even years. Severe acne may affect your confidence and self-worth, making it difficult for you to engage in activities you like because of your distorted self-perception. It is important to consult a dermatologist to receive proper care and treatment.

4. Acne in teenagers

Teenagers are prone to acne as they have high levels of androgens, the sex hormone which causes the size and production of oil glands to increase. Developing acne is something that almost all teenagers dread, but the good news is that it does not last forever. Plus, you may see improvements in your acne much sooner if you adopt some healthy practices like maintaining a balanced diet, exercising, and keeping your skin clean and moisturised.

5. Acne during pregnancy

Although hormonal acne does not always increase during pregnancy, it is more likely to flare up in the first trimester, if you have it. Fortunately, throughout the final trimester, pregnancy acne is expected to get better and possibly go away. Women who get frequent acne note that with each pregnancy, their acne gets progressively better or goes away. Moreover, breastfeeding is a great preventative measure against acne.

6. Acne during adulthood

There are several possible reasons for adult acne, ranging from stress, work life, family life and even genetics. Acne in adulthood is a global phenomenon that affects more women than men. It’s important to note that youthful skin is greasy and less sensitive, whereas mature skin is drier and more fragile thus, adult skin is different. Adults usually get acne on their necks, chins, and jawlines. The acne lasts longer and is uncomfortable.

What does stress acne look like?

Excessive stress may lead to more pimples or zits on your face. Stress acne may be uncomfortable, swollen, and red at times. Small lumps, whiteheads, or blackheads may also be noticeable. Large, deep lumps called cysts may develop in extreme circumstances. It’s possible for your skin to feel rough or bumpy, and pimples may take longer to heal. Stress increases the amount of oil produced by the skin, clogging pores and causing breakouts. Stress isn’t the only cause of acne, but it can make it worse. Acne can be controlled by taking good care of your skin and learning to manage stress.

Treating stress acne - 14 Home remedies for stress acne

Here are some of the best home remedies that may relieve stress-related acne.

How to reduce and manage stress?

When to seek help?

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Disclaimer

This content is created for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. For emergencies please immediately contact 000.