Your skin looks blotchy, shiny, drawn—like liverwurst under fluorescent lights.
"In the past, patients would come in and complain that they 'looked stressed,' and we wouldn't be able to explain why," says Rick Fried, MD, PhD, a clinical psychologist and dermatologist with a private practice in Yardley, Pennsylvania. "Now we know that stress leads to the protective release of neuropeptides and other chemicals in the skin, which can create inflammation." Fried says that this can cause the blood vessels to constrict, making your skin look tense. He explains that stress not only can lead to dreaded acne flare-ups, but it can also make pimples bigger, redder and more tender. Because this type of acne doesn't respond as well to topical remedies, Fried recommends stress-management techniques to address what's getting under your skin, as well.