Our Skin Responds to Stress

Our skin in the largest organ in our body.  And it talks!

An electrodermal skin response is part of our stress reaction.  In fact, the galvanic skin response (GSR) was first measured in the 1870’s and is still used today for biofeedback training (and as the lie detector test in some settings).

Stress can flare up skin conditions.

Acne is made worse by hormonal fluctuations, medications, smoking, diet  (such as eating foods that are high on the glycemic index).  And it is made worse by stress.

It’s still not understood exactly how stress impacts acne, but the greater the levels of our body’s stress chemicals, the more severe the acne.

Researchers are currently investigating a gut-brain-skin theory that proposes emotional stress has an impact on the intestinal microflora, creating an inflammatory response that triggers acne.

For decades, people have reported that better stress management resulted in lessening of their flare ups of acne and skin conditions.

Decreasing stress and learning techniques that calm your emotions may not only calm the butterflies in your stomach, but calm your skin too.

A fun way to see if you really are relaxing your body, thoughts, and feelings can be using skin conductance biofeedback as a sensitive measure of your progress.  

It’s one of the interesting kinds of biofeedback that I provide in private training appointments.  Let me know if it interests you.


For effective, practical stress and sleep management skills that enhance health and performance, check out the Stress Management & High Performance Clinic programs at  http://www.SelfRegulationSkills.ca.

Kathy Somers, R.Kin, BCB


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s