Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression triggered by low serotonin levels and disturbed melatonin response. Because of minimal sunlight during the winter, patients with SAD undergo hormonal shifts that elicit feelings of seasonal depression, fatigue, hopelessness and confusion. Like chronic depression and anxiety, SAD can impact skin health and overall physical appearance.
Consider the following ways your skin is impacted by seasonal affective disorder:
- Hygiene and Routine
Seasonal depression impacts your ability to properly care for yourself, particularly when it comes to regular bathing and self-care. Along with feeling lethargic, seasonal affective disorder tends to disrupt your daily routine. If you follow a stringent skincare regimen to combat acne, wrinkles or rosacea, you may feel less motivated to stick to your morning or nightly must-dos from early winter to mid-Spring. Even washing your face seems like an overwhelming task when fighting with your body to get out of bed in the morning. The trick is to force yourself into maintaining your healthy habits, including regular bathing, exfoliating, moisturizing, hydration and exercise. While emotionally and physically tiring, feeling good on the outside can trigger positive emotions on the inside. Allowing your hygiene and skincare to wane in the winter exacerbates feelings of hopelessness and fatigue.
- Tanning Beds
While sporting a healthy glow during gloomy weather perks up your self-esteem, the impact of tanning beds is not worth the temporary results. Just 15 to 20 minutes in a tanning bed damages the epidermis and increases your risk of skin cancer. Artificial ultraviolet radiation is just as dangerous as a summertime burn. Per the Skin Cancer Foundation, one person dies from melanoma every 52 minutes. In addition, non-melanoma cases are more common than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. In lieu of fake baking to fight seasonal affective disorder, opt for sunless creams and sprays instead. Sunless tanner achieves a healthy glow without damaging skin cells or increasing your risk of skin cancer. Check out Dr. Busso’s guide to applying self-tanner for a streak-free and natural-looking glow.
At Dr. Busso’s leading Miami cosmetic dermatology clinic, we help patients improve their skin health otherwise impacted by seasonal affective disorder. If you think you might have SAD and your skin is suffering in response, contact our office at 305-857-0144.