Lifestyle Factors Affecting The Skin, Part 1
The two ways sleep affects skin is by skin hydration and wound healing. The two ways that stress affects skin is by triggering skin diseases and causing occurrence of skin inflammation.
SLEEP AND SKIN
1. Skin Hydration
- A study found out that hydration of the facial skin surface were significantly reduced after sleep deprivation.
- The study also highlights that facial skin hydration, acidity, desquamation homogeneity, viscoelastic properties, and complexion luminosity are significantly affected by sleep quality (or length).
2. Wound Healing
- A study discovered that sleep deprivation affects skin extensibility and elasticity.
- Another study found out that 72 hours of sleep restriction with 2 hours sleep per night delays skin barrier recovery.
- According to Dr. Mikhail Varshavski, an osteopathic doctor, during non-REM sleep (about four to eight hours of sleep usually experienced in the early onset of a deep sleep), skin-repairing process occurs.
- According to Dr. Jeffrey Durmer, neurologist, systems neuroscientist, sleep medicine physician, and chief medical officer of Fusion Health, anti-inflammatory cytokines are produces during sleep which help heal and reduce the impact of damages done throughout the day.
- According to Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, an internist specializing in chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and pain management, and the author of “From Fatigued to Fantastic”, poor sleep results in premature aging because during sleep body releases growth hormone.
STRESS AND SKIN
1. Skin Inflammation
- As a result of internal inflammation, the skin may break outs or experience flare-ups of psoriasis or eczema.
- In terms of skin, when the body produces too much cortisol, the immune system is weakened, causing an inflammatory response such as an eczema or psoriasis flare-up.
2. Triggers Skin Diseases
- Some individuals might experience flare-ups of seborrheic dermatitis, a cousin to psoriasis and dandruff, Eidelman said. The condition could result in redness and flaking of the scalp.
- "Stress may induce AD lesions by impairing the skin barrier function and by favoring a switching of the immune response towards the lymphocyte response. These changes may underpin the pathogenic pathways in the onset of the disease. Furthermore, chronic stress is able to reduce the activity of NK cells, leading to an increased vulnerability to infection, hence an aggravation of skin lesions".
- According to Waldorf, ‘under stress we regress’ and there are ill-defined but accepted pathways between the stress response and other skin disorders like acne, eczema, and psoriasis, all of which can flare with chronic sleep deprivation.
- There is a strong relationship between high stress perception and common skin conditions for highly stressed medical students reporting that they had higher prevalence of oily, waxy patches on scalp and/or flaky scalp (dandruff), dry/sore rash, itchy skin, itchy rash on their hands, and hair loss, warts, and acne".
- The number of skin complaints by highly stressed students were higher than less stressed students which shows that various common skin conditions could appear in context of psychological stress among medical students.
There is not enough information on the public domain concerning the prevalence and impact of factors on different skin types (e.g. oily, dry) as well as ethnicities, gender, and age.
First, we looked into scholarly articles on educational websites and public databases such Google Scholar to find study demographics. We also searched Lens.org and PubMed for studies regarding the connection between sleep and stress on skin. There were limited studies found. Therefore, we could not corroborate the data for the analysis of skin types, ethnicities, gender, and age.
Next, we tried looking for other statistics we could use in triangulation in organizations' website that are focused on skin health, sleep, and stress. The goal was to find related studies that showed demographics for patients with stress-related skin problems or those who were sleep-deprived with skin conditions. We only found statistics that covered each topic — sleep, skin, and stress. But, there was nothing about the correlation between them.
Further, we tried to gather data points from surveys and patient reports that may address the skin type, ethnicities, gender, and age of people with sleep- and stress-related skin issues. We searched in scholarly websites and health focused websites such as NIH, MDPI journals, etc. The goal was to find helpful insights on the common occurrences of these scenarios. There was no relevant data found and the surveys found were not US-focused and specific to the targets of the study which constrained an analysis of the demographics.
The unavailability of the data maybe due to the very specific nature of the topic and the limited number of studies conducted on them. And, we were unable to triangulate the info due to insufficient data points.