Reduce Visible Signs of Stress With These Cosmetic TreatmentsPosted on April 20, 2021 | by Boston Plastic Surgery
If you’ve been struggling with stress, you’re not alone. According to the American Institute of Stress, 77% of Americans regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress, from excessive sweating to acne breakouts. The physical effects of stress can often cause us to feel depressed, anxious, and irritated, which in turn can exacerbate our physical symptoms, causing an endless feedback loop.
In recognition of National Stress Awareness Month this April, we’re examining the physical effects of stress and ways they can be alleviated, including with cosmetic treatments. If stress is impacting your appearance and wellbeing, keep reading.
Stress affects your body
Many of us know the panicked feeling of having to give a public presentation or being put on the spot in a meeting—your voice and hands get shaky and you begin sweating profusely. For some, this overwhelming feeling of nervousness can arise even in normal situations, or persist after a perceived “threat” has disappeared. If this sounds like you, you may have also experienced the excessive, uncontrollable sweating that often accompanies stress.
Approximately 1 in 5 people suffer from hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), a condition that can be extremely embarrassing. Sweat stains and odor can make us feel self-conscious, especially when interacting closely with others.
The good news is there are some medical solutions. Botox injections for sweating is one tactic, but this option is quite expensive and wears off in a matter of months. Instead, Boston plastic surgeon Dr. Samaha recommends miraDry treatment for excessive sweating. MiraDry works by precisely targeting your sweat and odor glands with controlled, heat-based energy to permanently eliminate sweat glands.
If getting rid of your sweat glands sounds concerning, consider that the human body has roughly 4 million sweat glands, and only 2% are located under the arms. This means you’ll still be able to sweat as much as you need to through other glands in your body.
Stress affects your hair
There are two main reasons for hair loss among men and women: stress and genetics. Let’s explore these causes and their treatments.
- Stress. Extreme psychological stress, such as mourning a loved one or experiencing severe depression or anxiety, can cause men and women to lose their hair prematurely. Thankfully, hair that falls out due to stress (known as “telogen effluvium”) can grow back after 6 to 9 months, though it may appear patchier and thinner. Contrary to popular belief, hair transplant surgery is not a good solution for stress-induced hair loss, as the procedure can “shock” your hair follicles and actually cause further hair loss. At Boston Plastic Surgery, it is our responsibility to explain to patients who are extremely stressed and seeking hair transplant surgery to manage their hair loss that a hair transplant is not a good option for them. Instead, maintaining a healthy diet and addressing the root causes (pun intended) of your stress are the best defenses against stress-induced hair loss.
- Genetics. Both men and women begin losing hair by the time they’re 30, but men tend to lose theirs at a much faster rate. This genetic hair loss is usually permanent unless a hair therapy treatment is pursued. For patients experiencing genetic, or “pattern,” balding, a hair transplant can be an extremely effective solution. At Boston Plastic Surgery, Dr. Samaha offers NeoGraft, an automated follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplant procedure, to help men and women suffering from genetic hair loss regain thicker, fuller hair with minimal downtime and no large scar.
Stress affects your skin
Nowhere are the signs of stress as evident as they are on the skin, particularly the face. This is because stress initiates a chemical reaction in the body that makes skin more sensitive, which can both cause and worsen problems such as acne, rosacea, and eczema. It can also make skin appear dull and prematurely wrinkled, even among people in their 20s and 30s. At our Skin Wellness Center, we offer a variety of treatments to soothe and refresh stressed-out skin.
- Refresh your skin with a CoolPeel. Collagen is a key building block for healthy, vibrant skin, but stress diverts blood away from the skin to other organs, decreasing collagen production. CoolPeel uses non-ablative laser technology to create tiny openings in your skin to stimulate natural collagen production, restoring smooth, fresh skin you’ll love.
- Treat your lines and wrinkles with Botox. If stress plays a critical role in your life, chances are your face is showing it. People who are stressed tend to furrow their facial features, causing lines and, over time, wrinkles, to form. Botox injections can temporarily reduce the appearance of dynamic wrinkles (those that are visible with facial movements like frowning) for up to 4 months, giving you a more refreshed and inviting appearance.
Nowhere are the signs of stress as evident as they are on the skin, particularly the face.
If you’re interested in a CoolPeel or Botox treatment, our office offers complimentary skincare consultations under the guidance of Dr. Samaha and our expert team of injectors, Maryanne, Rachel, and Mimi. They will carefully examine your skin to determine your unique skin needs and recommend a plan to repair, renew, and maintain clear, healthy skin. Contact us to schedule your skin consultation.
Resources for managing your stress
While cosmetic procedures can help you improve your physical symptoms of stress, it’s important to also address stress’s psychological effects. The following resources can help people in the Boston area and elsewhere manage their stress.
- The Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) program at Boston’s Benson-Henry Institute is designed to teach participants resilience and self-care techniques to reduce stress and enhance quality of life.
- The Shift Stress Management program by One Medical is a 4-week virtual group workshop that helps participants manage their stress, anxiety, and insomnia by introducing effective, implementable stress relief techniques within a supportive and safe group setting.
- The American Institute of Stress offers information on the causes of stress and resources for dealing with it, including a stress self-assessment tool, online meditation courses, and podcasts & videos.
Reverse your visible signs of stress at Boston Plastic Surgery
For a quick self-confidence boost, treat your visible signs of stress at Boston Plastic Surgery. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Fouad Samaha and our expert aesthetics team have been helping men and women in Boston feel comfortable and refreshed for over 20 years. To develop a custom skincare plan or explore our full line of aesthetic enhancement offerings, contact us online or call (617) 786-7600 today.