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Can Owning a Pet Improve Your Skin?

Owning a pet can have a surprisingly positive affect on your life in general, but it can also help your skin to stay healthier. The next time you stock up on skin care supplies, consider doing your skin an extra favour and adopting a pet as well. Here's a look at how owning a pet can help your skin and the skin of your family:

Reduced rates of depression

Research shows that owning a pet can reduce your rates of depression. In particular, researchers have looked at the effect of pet ownership on AIDS patients, but the effect is thought to work on most people.

By reducing your risk of depression, you also reduce your risk of many side effects including the desire to eat unhealthy foods. Unfortunately, many depressed people are drawn to salty or sugary snacks as well as processed foods, and even with great skin-care products, an unhealthy diet can wreak havoc on your skin.

Weight loss and fitness

Owning a pet doesn't automatically make you lose weight. However, when you own a pet, it is likely to keep you more active. For example, you may be more likely to go to the park and play fetch or take your dog on a walk than you would be likely to do those things on your own.

As a result, your pet effectively helps you avoid many of the skin issues associated with obesity. Unfortunately, if you are obese or even just overweight, your skin doesn't hold water as well as it should, and as a result, it can appear dry and hardened. In addition, your acne may be exacerbated, and your skin may take longer to heal from injuries and be more likely to scar. Obesity also slows blood circulation to the skin, and this can make your skin weaker. There are also skin diseases such as intertrigo and psoriasis that can be aggravated by obesity.

Less stress

Pet ownership is also linked to lower stress levels. This is fabulous from a skin health perspective, as stress is linked to a range of skin issues. In particular stress causes your skin to be more sensitive and more prone to allergic reactions or acne outbreaks. This happens because the stress hormone cortisol instructs your sebaceous glands to produce more oil.

Lowered risk of allergies

Owning a pet doesn't just have a positive impact on adult's skin. In fact, research shows that owning a pet decreases children's risk of having allergies. As these children grow up, they are less likely to have allergic reactions to a range of items. As a result, their skin is less likely to show the effects of allergic reactions such as redness or rashes.

That means by owning a pet, you may be indirectly helping your children to have skin free of allergy rashes. Additionally, in some cases, people with severe skin allergies may develop rough, hardened or scarred skin, and by owning a pet, you may help your child avoid those effects.