Does Stress Cause Pimples?  Let’s Unveil the Truth

Nimisha Gupta

Nimisha Gupta
Aug 2023

2 min read
Does Stress Cause Pimples

Table of content

In today’s fast-moving world, Stress is something we can not avoid. It is everywhere, be it our workplace or at home. Even kids in their early teens and youngsters are not spared from this issue. Going through Stress or tension is getting very common these days, as are the health issues caused by it. One such condition is the breaking out of pimples on the skin, and we will be discussing the age-old question in this blog: Does Stress cause pimples?

Pimple is a symptom of a condition called stress, and both are somehow related. Many people often notice pesky pimples on their skin or face whenever their stress levels are high. Although Stress and pimples seem totally unrelated, is there a connection between these two? So, let’s explore how Stress can contribute to these unwelcome blemishes on our bodies. So sit back, relax (because yes, relaxation is key!), and let’s discover can stress cause pimples and if there is a connection between the two.

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Understanding Pimples And Its Types

Just imagine you wake up one morning, all set to get ready for the day, but there you see it in the mirror – a red pimple right on your face! Yes, we all have been there, right? But what exactly are these little troublemakers?

Pimples or acne are those annoying blemishes that pop up on our skin, especially during those times when we least want them. They appear on our skin when our hair follicles (those tiny pockets where our hair grows) get all clogged up and gunked with oil, dead skin cells, and sometimes bacteria.

Now on which part of our body do pimples come? The most common spots are our face which mostly includes our nose, chin and forehead, and sometimes cheeks as well. They also come on our neck, back, chest, and upper arms. Talking about skin here, so check our diet plan for glowing skin!

Types Of Pimples On Skin

Pimples come in various forms, and you must know which type it is. So, let’s find out:

  • Blackheads: Picture tiny black dots on your skin – those are blackheads. They form when the clogged gunk at the follicle’s opening gets exposed to air, making it turn black. These dark spots are caused by oxidized melanin and debris trapped within pores.
  • Whiteheads: These are like the cousins of blackheads. They also happen when follicles get clogged, but in this case, the opening stays closed. They appear as small white or flesh-colored bumps on the skin’s surface.
  • Papules and pustules are more inflamed forms of acne and are often referred to as “pimples.” These red blemishes may be tender to touch and contain pus at their center.
  • Nodules or Cystic Acne: They can be painful and stubborn. They form deep under the skin when the blockage is severe, and they might stick around for what feels like forever. They are more severe as they occur deep within the skin layers. Nodules or cystic acne can leave behind scars if not managed properly.

So, now it will be easy for you to differentiate which kind of pimple you have on your face.

It’s perfectly normal to get pimples from time to time, and stressing over them will not make them go away instead it might increase them! So, it is better to understand more about them in order to deal with their root causes. So shall we move ahead and discuss the causes of pimples? Yes, let’s begin!

Common Causes Of Pimples

Pimples can really mess with our confidence, and guess what? They don’t care if you’re young or old – they’ll show up uninvited anyway! But you know there are certain ways to deal with them, and the first step is understanding what causes them. So, let’s solve the mystery and understand what are the causes of pimples:

1. Excessive oil production by the sebaceous glands is the primary cause. When these glands produce more oil than necessary, it can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Hormonal changes during puberty, menstrual cycles, or pregnancy often trigger increased oil production.

2. The presence of bacteria on the skin is called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). This bacteria stays in blocked pores and inflamed follicles, elevating the acne symptoms. Did you try our skin glow shot, a homemade drink for healthy skin? If not then try today!

3. Clogged Pores are also influenced by dead skin cells not shedding properly. These cells accumulate on the skin’s surface and mix with excess oil, creating an ideal environment for pimple formation.

4. Certain medications containing corticosteroids or lithium have been associated with acne outbreaks as well. Additionally, using comedogenic skincare products or wearing tight clothing that traps sweat against the skin can worsen existing breakouts.

5. Stress alone may not directly cause acne, but it can certainly aggravate pre-existing conditions. Elevated stress levels increase inflammation throughout the body and stimulate hormone production – both factors linked to worsening acne symptoms.

Understanding common causes of acne allows us to make mindful decisions regarding our skincare routine and lifestyle choices. By identifying these possible triggers, we can take preventive steps to avoid future breakouts.

Does Stress Cause Pimples? Finding The Connection

You must be wondering by now How does Stress cause pimples? There are many ways where Stress can affect our body and, in some ways, trigger pimple breakouts on our skin. How? To know the connection between Stress and pimples, let’s read the below points:

1. Increases Cortisol Levels

Here’s what happens when you are stressed out – a high cortisol level makes these sebaceous glands produce more oil than needed. And that excess oil can clog your pores, trapping dirt and bacteria inside. And guess what? This process gives rise to inflammation in the body, including our skin. We hope you are getting our point here. The connection is that high Stress means increased cortisol that leads to inflammation, resulting in pimples!

2. Affects Immunity

Stress doesn’t stop there; it also messes with your immune system. Did you know that our defense system that keeps your body safe from any infections? But, if you are under continuous Stress and tension, your immunity tends to weaken. It can not protect your body from possible infections that may lead to skin inflammation and result in acne breakouts.

3. Hormonal Imbalance

Stress can also cause hormonal imbalances in the body. Hormones like testosterone can stimulate oil production in the skin’s sebaceous glands. When excess oil mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria, it clogs pores and creates an ideal environment for pimples to form.

4. Disrupts Sleep Patterns

Stress can interfere with proper sleep patterns and lead to poor dietary choices. Lack of sleep deprives our bodies of much-needed rest and rejuvenation time for healthy cell turnover. Poor diet choices often include sugary or greasy foods that can trigger inflammation and worsen existing acne.

5. Produces CRH

Stress leads to the production of Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) that sends messages to our skin cells to produce more sebum and promotes skin inflammation. So higher the CRH, the higher the chances of oily skin and pimples.

We hope that now you completely understand how Stress leads to pimple breakouts in the body. But there are solutions to manage stress-induced acne and keep your skin happy and healthy. We will discuss this in the upcoming section of this blog. So read on!

Ways To Manage Stress To avoid Pimples

Now you understand how does stress cause pimples badly. So, now let’s discuss a few things you can do to achieve  clear and acne-free skin:

1. Deep Breathing & Relaxation Techniques: Doing meditation for some time during the day can help you in dealing with stress immensely. If not meditation, go for Yin Yoga for mental health or any other relaxation therapy to soothe your body and mind. It will keep your skin pores healthy!

2. Prioritize Self-Care: It is necessary to keep other things aside and take some time out only for yourself to give a positive charge to your body, mind, and emotions. This means you should start doing any activity that interests you, like reading a book, painting, going to the spa, gardening, etc., that will relieve tensions and bring stress down to help skin issues.

3. Sleep Well: To keep Stress in control, a good night’s sleep of at least 7 to 8 hours is quite important. It will also help your skin rejuvenate. Try this to control your cortisol levels and reduce pimple breakouts.

4. Eating A Healthy Diet: Manage Stress and give your skin a healthy glow by consuming nutritious food and discarding junk. Follow a diet plan rich in carbohydrates, Vitamin C, healthy fats, and proteins to control blood sugar, manage hormones, and improve overall well-being.

5. Regular Workouts: Start engaging yourselves in a regular exercise routine to keep your mind and body sharp. It can be a gym workout or Yoga at home, but it will positively impact your Stress and skin health!

6. Avoid Stress Eating: When going through stressful periods, try not to resort to overeating, emotional eating, drinking alcohol, or using drugs or cigarettes. All these things are harmful to your skin and body health.

Foods To Reduce Stress And Pimples On Skin

You must eat or include some foods in your healthy diet chart to control Stress, which will also enhance your skin health. So, let’s find out about these tasty treats:

does stress cause pimples
  • Try Eating Avocados: For some people, avocadoes might taste a bit off but trust us, they are full of healthy fats, manage stress, and nourish the skin.
  • Green Vegetables: Kale, spinach, cabbage, fenugreek leaves, etc., provide skin-friendly minerals and vitamins while controlling sebum production.
  • Eat Berries: Consuming antioxidant-rich berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, etc., can really help you in keeping Stress and inflammation at bay.
  • Consume Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Reduce inflammation by consuming the omega-3 content present in fish oil from fatty fish like Salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, and herring.
  • Dark Chocolate: Cacao in dark chocolates produces happy hormones among us and lowers Stress. Also, it consists of various Vitamins and Zinc content that are beneficial for our skin health.
  • Nuts and seeds: To support your skin health, intake fats through healthy natural sources from several nuts and seeds like Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. Check out our acne-free diet plan that is rich in healthy food options for good skin.
  • Greek Yogurt: Probiotics found in Greek yogurt is exceptional for acne-prone skin by lowering bacteria that cause pimple breakouts.
  • Sip Green Tea: Natural green tea is rich in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is very helpful in improving oily skin and reducing pimples. It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-bacterial.
  • Oranges: Citric acid present in oranges is quite helpful in dealing with painful pimples. Eat it or apply it as a face mask for shiny skin!
  • Whole Grains: Rich in complex carbs, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, millets, barley, etc can help you minimize the pimples.

Please Note:

Water is essential for healthy and bright skin, so always drink at least 7 to 8 glasses daily to flush toxins and bacteria out of your body. Also, for any professional guidance, you should connect with a dermatologist and a registered dietician. So, follow these healthy food tips and keep those nasty pimples and acne away from your beautiful face!

Does Stress Cause Pimples? – Conclusion

The relationship between Stress and pimple breakout is little complicated. Stress may not be alone responsible for causing acne or pimples on skin but it can trigger or worsen the situation by hampering a person’s hormonal imbalance and elevating inflammation levels in the body.

So, if you are prone to acne or pimples, you must adopt a healthy lifestyle by choosing a balanced diet, getting regular sleep, meditation, staying hydrated, and doing regular workouts. These practices will impact your overall body in calming and relaxing yourself.

If the situation is worse or beyond control, then you must visit a dermatologist. You can also connect with Fitelo experts for any advice on the dietary needs that may help you in your skin conditions.

Also, keep in mind that not everyone is the same. So, if something works for one might not work for another. You have to find your best way to deal with Stress and take care of your skin in the best way to avoid those not so good looking blemishes. Take all necessary self-care steps to minimize the impact of Stress that cause pimples on your skin. With baby steps and mindful techniques, you sure will get a way to beat those pimples!

Parth Weigh Loss While Curing Stress – Lost 8 kg In 30 Days!

Parth, a salesman was concerned about his weight gain and stress problems. When nothing worked out, he reached Fitelo, and with the help of our experts, he was able to lose 8 Kg in just 22 days, and his stress levels were also controlled. The customized diet plan of Fitelo dietician helped him to achieve his health goals. Read his full transformation here:

Fun Fact

Aloe vera is a natural herb for the skin!

Aloe vera plant is anti-bacterial and antiseptic. Furthermore, when used topically, Aloe Vera gel has a cooling effect on the skin, making it useful for soothing burns and rashes. Acne can also be treated with fresh aloe gel.

How To Destress And Lose Weight – Dietician Mac Singh

Most of us have low energy, high Stress, insomnia, delayed weight reduction, and poor digestion. However, you can resolve most of these issues with a free tip. Check out this video where Dietician Mac Singh discusses how to quickly say goodbye to Stress while assisting your weight loss journey!

Frequently Asked Question

Can Stress Cause Pimples On Face?

While Stress may not be alone responsible for causing acne or pimples on the skin but it can trigger or worsen the situation by hampering a person’s hormonal imbalance and elevating inflammation levels in the body. So, high levels of Stress may lead to pimple breakouts on the nose, chin, forehead, and cheeks.

How Long Can Stress Cause Pimples?

Stress acne can develop in anticipation of a known stressful event and worsen as the triggering event occurs. Alternatively, the outbreak may occur days, weeks, or even months after the event that caused Stress. Stress also slows down the healing process of pimples.

Why Does Stress Cause Pimples?

Stress causes a high cortisol level that lets sebaceous glands produce more oil than needed. And that excess oil can clog your pores, trapping dirt and bacteria inside. This process gives rise to inflammation in the body, including our skin. So, increased cortisol leads to inflammation, and that results in pimples.

How Do You Know You Have Stress Pimples

Stress pimples typically appear in the oiliest parts of the face, such as the forehead, nose, and chin. Your T-zone may also appear greasy and clogged. Doctors believe that Stress might cause clusters of pimples to co-occur.

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Contact Us Today

Get in touch with our expert team at Fitelo to kick-start your transformative journey! Let us guide you toward your weight loss goals and help you cultivate sustainable & healthy eating habits. So, contact us today and take the first step towards a healthier, happier you with Fitelo!


This blog post was written to help you make healthy and better food choices. So, be aware and take care. The vital thing to consider is your health before starting a restrictive diet. Therefore, always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy. Enjoy a long, happy life.

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