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In 2003, a Stanford University study published in the Archives of Dermatology found that college students had acne flare-ups during exams, a period in which they reported more stress, compared to periods without testing. Acne severity correlated highly with increasing stress, the researchers concluded.

Still, scientists don’t know exactly how stress worsens acne. They do know that cells that produce sebum have receptors for stress hormones, according to Garner. Sebum is the oily substance that mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria to clog the hair follicles, leading to a pimple or acne cyst.

These researchers hypothesized that the increase in acne might be due to higher levels of sebum produced during stressful times. However, they found that psychological stress didn’t increase sebum production significantly in the teens, leading them to suggest that that acne linked to stress may involve other root causes.

When Stress Makes You Mess With Your Skin

Sometimes, stress and acne can interact in a harmful cycle. When some people are anxious or upset, they’re more likely to exacerbate their blemishes. "Some people pick their skin when they’re stressed. If they have a pimple to pick, that’s where they’re going."

What Is Acne Excoriee?

While many people squeeze a pimple occasionally, "Every little thing that shows up on a person’s skin -- every small pimple -- they pick it. They can’t make themselves stop."

This condition is called acne excoriee. Don't pick at the skin. Come see me and take a minute to relax. Time for you will help de-stress and calm the nerves which will help with the stress level to go down a few notches.

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