Stress – Bad for Allergies and Skin


In the 2003 film Anger Management, therapist Buddy Rydell tells his patients that they can calm down by repeating the term Goosefraba and breathing deeply. In an old Seinfeld episode, George’s neurotic father uses a similar phrase – Serenity Now – to help calm his blood pressure. (Although he usually ends up shouting the phrase counterproductively!)

While these comedic examples may seem silly, it turns out that having your own “serenity” practice can help with your allergies and skin health.

Last week a German study published in the American Journal of Pathology showed that stress can trigger outbreaks in patients who suffer from inflammatory skin conditions. The skin serves as our first layer of defense against germs and allergens, and ‘brain-skin connection” allows stress to aggravate skin diseases.

Stress appears to activate certain immune cells in the skin (and other parts of the body). Scientists are still trying to identify these immune cells for targeted therapy.

In the meantime, try to release your stress. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and exercise are all great stress-relievers. Simply walking vigorously for 30 minutes a day can significantly lower stress levels. Lowering stress will improve your health on many levels.

Healthy Home Tip: You can also improve dry skin conditions during the winter by restoring moisture to the air with a humidifier.

See Anxiety and Stress Make Allergies Worse to learn how to reduce your stress and your allergy symptoms.

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