**Stress and Eczema
-Stress, one of the most common eczema triggers, can be much more difficult to manage because you may not even realize that you’re stressed or are unable to regulate the source of the stress.
-This is especially true when it’s caused by work, family, or other everyday situations that feel out of your control.
-But understanding the cause of your stress and how it’s related to your eczema can help you learn how to manage it and keep it from causing outbreaks.
**How Does Stress Affect Eczema?
-Outbreaks of eczema, as is the case with other skin conditions, can be triggered by stress.
-Stress causes a spike in the hormone cortisol (sometimes called the stress hormone).
-When your body produces high amounts of cortisol because of stress, your skin can become abnormally oily. This can then trigger an eczema outbreak.
-Not only does stress cause eczema, it can make eczema outbreaks last longer and make you feel more stressed as a result. This can lead to a seemingly endless cycle.
-It’s important to understand the scientific link between eczema and stress.
-When we experience a stressful situation, the body goes into fight-or-flight mode and responds by increasing production of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
-But when the body produces too much cortisol, it can suppress the immune system and cause an inflammatory response in the skin.
-People living with skin diseases like eczema are particularly susceptible to this inflammatory response.
-Although ridding your life of stress won’t eliminate your eczema altogether, it will help alleviate some of the common symptoms of this disease.
**The Relaxation Response
-The relaxation response is the rest and digest part of the nervous system.
-It basically undoes the work of the stress response after a stressful situation.
-The relaxation response happens when we feel safe, nurtured or taken care of.
-It can block effects from your body’s response to stress.
-This is good for your mental and physical health.
**Effective Relaxation Techniques
-The most effective relaxation technique is one that works for you!
-Different relaxation techniques will help different people at different times.
-What works for you this week, may not work next week.
-But it might work again next month.
-Our needs vary and so it’s important to have a toolbox of relaxation techniques to help you on a regular basis.