It’s not all in your head: if you’re going through a lot of stress, it really can affect your skin in a serious way.
University of California researchers discovered that psychological stress makes skin more susceptible to bacterial infections. Mice placed in a stressful environment were compared to mice in normal conditions; the former group was more prone to streptococcus pyogenes. Upon closer analysis, they found this was caused by a drop in antimicrobial peptides, and that this decrease is directly linked to stress.
When it’s impossible to reduce stress, this may be treatable by limiting the production of glucocorticoids, a kind of steroid hormone that plays a big part in decreasing these defensive peptides.
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