When you're really effing stressed out about a big project, fighting with your S.O., or going through a major life change, you can at least slap a smile on and no one can see the swirling storm inside, right?
Well, not exactly. One of the *fun* bonus perks of stress is that it can take it out on your skin—making all that inner turmoil plain for everyone else to see. (And that's not the only weird physical stress symptom.)
Small things can trigger a visible reaction in some people, while it'd take an extreme event to show up in others. And some lucky peeps might not ever see a real change in their skin simply from stress, says Lance Brown, M.D., surgical and cosmetic dermatologist based in New York City and East Hampton, NY. What determines that? Everything from the strength of your immune system to the genetic differences in the reactivity of your skin. One thing is for sure: If you have one of these super-common conditions, you're even more likely to wear your stress on your sleeve—er, skin.
But before you send your stress levels even higher, breathe deeply, because there's hope: If you can conquer your stress, you can save your skin.