Sunday, June 8, 2008

Recent Study Finds Link Between Stress and Acne

A recently released study performed in Singapore found a possible link between teen stress and acne. The study was conducted by researchers at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Researchers monitored 94 adolescent age children suffering from mild to moderate acne for several months and found that highly stressful situations triggered breakouts. It has been suspected for a long time that adolescent acne is caused by sebum, the oily substance that forms on the skin. Interestingly, researchers found that stress did not increase sebum production, leading them to believe that the stress-triggered breakouts are caused by inflammation instead.

Wake Forest researchers chose to perform the study in Singapore because of its mild climate, lessening the likelihood that environment would increase sebum production.

The students studied showed a 23% increase in breakouts during times of high stress. High stress periods could include anything from exams to interpersonal conflicts. Over the period of the study, researchers used stress tests to determine the students stress levels and monitored their acne for any changes.

These findings support previous studies, which have pointed to the stress and acne link. One study performed by Stanford University researchers in 2003 actually wanted to disprove that stress causes acne. Instead, their study of college students showed that, indeed, stress does possibly make acne worse. They found that students were noticeably more likely to experience acne during exam time, a period of higher stress.