Nothing happens in the body or a cell without the action of a hormone. Hormones initiate activity and all cells respond to them. Bone cells make bone, muscle cells contract, digestive cells secrete their juices, liver cells detoxify, and countless other chemical reactions occur in response to and ONLY in response to the initiating action of a hormone.
Like other cells, skin cells respond to hormones, but recently it’s been discovered that skin cells also make hormones, and many of these hormones are associated with stresses and the defensive response. Their external location, on the outside of the body, exposes them to a plethora of various stimuli including trauma, solar radiation, environmental toxins and chemicals in moisturizers, makeups and other intentionally applied topical products. Via the activity of hormones, the bites and breaks, burns and wounds that skin cells are subjected to, into various physiologic responses including changes in blood flow (as in the response to heat or cold), pigmentation (the tanning response caused UV radiation) and growth and repair (initiated by wounding, exfoliation and laser treatments, and topical nutrients).
The skin’s innate hormonal response can also cause skin problems. For example, dry climate, the sun, topical irritants and blood borne food allergens from the digestive tract are all likely suspects when it comes to stimulating a defensive secretion of defensive chemicals from skin cells. Even emotional and mental stressors can act as triggers for turning on the skin cell's hormonal stress response. This is why many people will notice increases in skin conditions including eczema, acne, and dermatitis in association with changes in weather, poor food choices, digestive conditions or psychological turmoil. Chronic stress hormone (cortisol) secretion can also affect broken skin and wounds, delaying and impairing the healing process. In addition, cortisol secretion following external or internal triggers can create changes in circulation. It can cause the dilation of blood vessels that are characteristic of rosacea, increase the rate of division of skin cells leading to the plaques of psoriasis, as well as the excessive secretion of skin oils evidenced in a condition called seborrhea.
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