December 1, 2023

Can Stress Cause Boils?

Whenever you feel your heart beating fast or your stomach butterflies, that is your body's "fight or flight" response, a common and normal reaction to stressful situations. However, any definition of stress should also include good stress, or eustress. A good example of eustress is the feeling you get while waiting for your wedding day, a new job or a passing test. This type of stress is called eustress because it gives you a sense of excitement and joy.

A boil, also known as a furuncle or a pimple is a skin infection caused by bacteria that infects hair follicles or oil glands. The infection usually starts as a small bump that looks like a pimple and over time enlarges to become a hard, painful red lump filled with pus. These boils are rooted deep in the skin and can be extremely painful to touch, especially if they rupture. The infection can spread to other areas of the skin and may lead to a serious infection such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which is more resistant to antibiotics.

Stress, anxiety and depression can make you more susceptible to boils because it can suppress the immune system. This happens when the body produces cortisol, a stress hormone that weakens immune responses. It can also cause inflammation, which erodes the protective skin barrier and makes it easier for bacteria to infiltrate hair follicles or oil glands leading to the formation of a boil.

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