How Do I Get Rid Of My Stress Hives
The #1 best proven method of eliminating stress hives from your life forever is to remove ALL stress and tension from your life. Aside from that, the only other way is to take an OTC medication like OxyHives that has proven to get rid of hives within 1-2 hours. OxyHives has been around for over 10 years now and is effective without any of the harmful side effects other hives medications have. OxyHives recently received approval to sell their hives treatment over the counter and thus no longer requires a prescription. Please see our hives treatment page for more information.
In addition, it is best to avoid tight fitting clothing over the areas affected by the stress hives, and to avoid hot or cold baths and showers as this can cause further skin irritations and cause hives from stress to spread. Please see our how to get rid of hives page for tips on how to alleviate your symptoms until your order of OxyHives arrives.
What Causes Itching With Anxiety
Anxiety, especially if its chronic, can affect your health in many ways. Anxiety is related to a number of skin problems. Just think about how a brief moment of embarrassment can cause you to blush or how being nervous can make some people break out in hives.
The weight of mental or emotional stress can also lead to some serious itching.
Your brain is always communicating with nerve endings in your skin. When anxiety kicks in, your bodys stress response can go into overdrive. This can affect your nervous system and cause sensory symptoms like burning or itching of the skin, with or without visible signs.
You can experience this sensation anywhere on your skin, including your arms, legs, face, and scalp. You might feel it only intermittently or it could be quite persistent. The itch can happen at the same time as symptoms of anxiety or it can occur separately.
Even if the cause of your itching is anxiety, serious skin problems can develop if you scratch too much or too vigorously. This can leave you with irritated, broken, or bleeding skin. It can also lead to infection. Not only that, but the scratching probably wont do much to relieve the itch.
On the other hand, the skin condition and relentless itching may have come first, prompting the anxiety.
Thats why its so important to talk to your doctor about:
This information will help guide the diagnosis.
Emotional Physical And Social Impacts
Research has proved that stress can bring about an onset and exacerbation of hives, in addition to finding that emotional stress in particular is linked to itch intensity.
For people with both urticaria and anxiety, a vicious cycle can often occur, with stress and anxiety leading to an outbreak, which then leads to more stress. Feeling physically uncomfortable and not sleeping well due to itching or pain can also increase anxiety and stress levels. This cycle can exert a negative impact on ones emotional, physical and social functioning, highlighting the importance of stress-reducing and stress management techniques, discussed later in this slideshow.
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In People With No Skin Conditions
The effects of stress and anxiety on itchiness do not only affect people with existing conditions. Chronic itchiness can also appear due to stress in a person without an underlying condition.
This symptom is most likely to occur in people who are experiencing very high stress situations, have psychological conditions, or are going through a major life event.
A small-scale study in Acta Dermato-Venereologica asked college students about their stress levels and skin symptoms. The results indicated that even without underlying conditions, students with higher self-reported stress levels had more symptoms in their skin, including itchiness.
An anxiety disorder may also cause the sensation of itching. In these cases, the itching is not due to an underlying skin condition or irritant but appears as a symptom of anxiety instead.
Stress causes a number of changes in the body, such as hormonal fluctuations and changes in the nervous system, which could lead to unpleasant sensations along one or more nerves. These sensations can cause a burning or itching feeling anywhere in the skin.
How Stress Affects Skin
Stress causes a chemical response in your body that makes skin more sensitive and reactive. It can also make it harder for skin problems to heal.
Have you ever noticed that you break out more when youre stressed? This is because stress causes your body to make hormones like cortisol, which tells glands in your skin to make more oil. Oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin problems.
Stress can also:
Make skin problems worse. For example, stress can aggravate psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. It can also cause hives and other types of skin rashes and trigger a flare-up of fever blisters.
Interfere with daily skin care. If youre stressed, you might skimp on this part of your routine, which can aggravate skin issues.
It can also be stressful to have problems with your skin. Some people feel so bad about how it looks that they keep to themselves, which adds more stress.
If you have an issue that doesn’t heal or keeps coming back, rethink how you handle stress.
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When You Have Flare
Make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist, allergist, or primary care doctor. Most people who have hives are otherwise healthy, but its still helpful to see a doctor.A thorough medical exam can help rule out possible causes, such as an infection or medication, which could be causing your hives.Its also possible for a disease, such as a thyroid condition, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes to cause hives. If signs indicate that this may be the cause, medical testing can find or rule out these causes.While medications and medical conditions can cause hives, there are many other causes, including foods, insect bites, and pressure on the skin. Sometimes, its not possible to find the cause. If that happens, your dermatologist can still recommend lifestyle changes and prescribe medication that can help reduce your flare-ups.
Take photos of your hives. When your see your dermatologist, you may not have hives. Taking pictures can help your dermatologist make sure you have hives. Other skin conditions can look like hives.
Relieve the itch at home. Itch is common in people who have chronic hives. Here are some ways to get temporary relief:
Can Stress Affect Your Skin In Negative Ways
Stress doesnt just influence biological factors that lead to poor skin health, stress can also lead to unhealthy behaviors and habits that take a toll on our skin over time. When we are stressed, we often run to quick sources of relief that have negative impacts on our body.
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What Is The Link Between Hives And Stress
The link between hives and stress hasnt been established, and researchers continue to study the topic. What they do know that emotional stress can adversely affect the immune system and that the body can react to stressful times by breaking out in skin irritations.
Per HealthCentral, researchers have identified specific kinds of hives that occur when a person is feeling stressed. One type is called cholinergic hives, which can appear when a persons stress levels raise their body temperature. Dermatographia is a form of stress hives that cause people to pick at their skin when they are feeling stressed. This constant pressure on the skin can cause the body to release histamine and cause hives or welts on the body.
People who already have autoimmune conditions or allergies may also be predisposed to breaking out with hives during stressful times. This link may have something to do with the fact that the nervous system and the skin are derived from the same embryologic layer, but research is still underway to better understand the correlation, HealthCentral writes.
The Link Between Hives And Stress
Officially known as urticaria, hives are itchy, red, swollen areas of skin that are caused by histamine release, explains pediatric dermatologist Sheilagh Maguiness, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School and cofounder of Stryke Club skin care line for boys.
While a variety of things can cause hives, anecdotally, many people report a link between those distinctive red welts and stress.
It makes sense, says Dr. Maguiness, because stress has tangible effects on your body and often manifests physically.
Stress can definitely play a role in any skin disease, including hives, she says. Stress truly never makes anything better and can lead to worsening the hives in some cases.
The connection goes beyond anecdotes. A 2018 study found a link between stress and hives, noting that women with chronic hives demonstrated significantly higher stress levels.
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Infection Or Medical Treatment Can Trigger Hives
Some people get hives when they develop an infection like strep throat, a urinary tract infection, or COVID-19.
Others get hives when they have a medical treatment like radiation therapy or a blood transfusion.
Hives was the first sign of COVID-19 for this girl
A few days after getting hives, this 5-year-old girl began to develop the more common symptoms of COVID-19 like fever and a cough.
Hives due to radiation therapy
This medical treatment can be lifesaving but hard on your skin. If your body releases histamine to protect itself, hives can develop.
Anxiety Can Make Your Rash Worse
Many of those with anxiety see a rash and respond in ways that are counterproductive to its treatment. For example:
- They may cover it up with long sleeves preventing it from breathing.
- They may try to wash their skin too much, leading to skin irritation.
- They may experience more anxiety because of their anxiety rash, leading to a longer lasting rash.
It’s important to understand your own anxiety and how you react to it before you can effectively treat it.
Anxiety has a profound effect on the body – more than we used to believe. Rashes are yet another example of an anxiety problem that looks like a physical problem. Control your anxiety, and you can control your rashes.
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What To Do When Stress Gives You Hives
Most people associate hives the raised, puffy welts on your skin that spread when scratched with an allergic reaction, but there are a number of factors that can cause them. One of these factors is stress, and if you find yourself breaking out in hives without another likely cause, its possible that stress is to blame. We spoke to Mary Stevenson, an assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Langone, to learn more about what causes stress hives, and what to do and what not to do if you have them.
What do stress hives look like?Stress hives can look a little like bug bites: both are red, puffy, and itchy, and may appear initially as individual bumps, says Stevenson. However, hives are more often irregular in shape and can join together in larger patches, especially if you scratch them. A bad case of hives may appear as a single large patch of puffy, raised skin.
Why do I have hives?If youre noticing hives or a rashlike reaction, its wise to do a survey of your last few days to look for possible causes before deciding stress is to blame, says Stevenson. Maybe you changed your laundry detergent that week, or you ate all these new foods or started a new medication, she says. Unlike stress, many of these are factors that can be easily eliminated.
Can Stress And Anxiety Cause You To Break Out In Hives
Stress and anxiety can cause hives. For this reason, sometimes hives might be called stress hives or a stress rash.
For example, when youre under a great deal of stress, your body sends a message to its immune cells, telling them to release powerful chemicals most notably, histamine. Histamine triggers inflammation and the itchiness associated with hives.
Stress is only one of several triggers that can cause symptoms like skin rashes or hives. Other causes of skin rashes include:
Food allergens, such as peanuts, shellfish, or spicy foods
Pollen, dust, or animal dander
Irritating chemicals, such as laundry detergents
Viral or bacterial infections
Autoimmune disorders, such as thyroid disease
Insect bites and stings
Hives is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. However, studies have shown that women are more affected by hives than men.
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Reasons Your Skin Itches Uncontrollably And How To Get Relief
When your skin itches, you may have a rash however, you can have intensely itchy skin and see nothing on your skin.
Mosquito bites, chickenpox, and poison ivy arent the only reasons for itchy skin. See what else may be causing your itch and what can bring relief.
Very dry skin. Extremely dry skin can be intensely itchy.How to get relief: Dermatologists offer these tips for relieving dry skin at, Dry skin: Tips for managing.
Bug bites. When a mosquito bites you, the cause of your itchy skin is usually obvious, and the itch tends to go away quickly. When bugs live on your skin or feed on you every night, the itch can be long-lasting and uncontrollable. Bugs that can cause long-lasting itch, include bed bugs, lice, and mites .How to get relief: You can find out what these bug bites look like and how to get rid of the itch at:
Can Stress Cause Hives Yes Its Known As A Stress Rash
- Stress can cause hives, or a stress rash.
- While allergies are the main cause of hives, some research has found that stress can also trigger this skin condition where the body releases histamines.
- If you think stress is causing your hives, you can take antihistamine medication like benadryl, get better sleep, exercise regularly, and work on other ways to relax your stress.
When your body has an allergic reaction, it releases chemicals that can make your skin swell, causing those itchy, red bumps on your skin thats characteristic of hives.
While certain foods and allergens tend to cause hives, theres another factor that can cause them as well stress.
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Can You Prevent A Stress Rash
The best way to prevent a stress rash is to reduce stress. Stress rashes can be unsightly and embarrassing, so stress reduction is a good first step. You can do this in many different ways such as getting enough sleep every night, avoiding stressors that you can’t control, and using stress management techniques regularly. You can also talk to your stress management specialist about stress reduction therapies such as meditation and yoga.
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. By exercising regularly you reduce stress by releasing stress-reducing hormones in your brain. Exercise also helps to reduce stress by distracting you from stressors that you may not be able to control. Exercise also burns stress hormones that may be causing a stress rash.
Clothing can affect your stress levels and stress rashes, so it is important to pay attention to your stress levels when you are choosing clothing. For example, tight-fitting clothes may increase stress hormones and lead to a stress rash. Choose soft, breathable fabrics that are not too tight-fitting to help prevent stress rashes.
Some People Have Greater Risk Of Developing Any Type Of Hives
While anyone can develop hives, you have a greater risk if you:
Are a woman of African American heritage
Have atopic dermatitis
If you have long-lasting or widespread hives, seeing a dermatologist can help you feel more comfortable. Seeing a dermatologist is also a good idea to make sure that what you have really is hives.
Find out how dermatologists diagnose and treat hives at: Hives: Diagnosis and treatment.
Related AAD resources
ImagesImage 1: Used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Image 2: Images used with permission of JAAD Case Reports.
JAAD Case Reports 2021 11:137-8.
Image 3. Image used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
J Am Acad Dermatol 2006 5428-46.
ReferencesAntia C, Baquerizo K, et al. Urticaria: A comprehensive review: Epidemiology, diagnosis, and work-up. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 79:599-614.
Grattan CEH, Saini SS. Urticaria and angioedema. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, China, 2018:304-19.
Hide M, Takahagi S, et al. Urticaria and angioedema. In: Kang S, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology. McGraw Hill Education, United States of America, 2019:684-785.
Hymes SR, Strom EA, et al. Radiation dermatitis: Clinical presentation, pathophysiology, and treatment. 2006. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 54:28-46.
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How Long Do Stress Rashes And Hives Typically Last
Stress rashes or hives usually disappear within a few hours or days. Its important to avoid scratching a rash so that it will heal and not leave behind marks. Sometimes, stress rashes and hives can come back repeatedly for weeks or months. When hives last longer than 6 weeks, it is called chronic urticaria.
If your stress rash or hives last longer than a few days, see your healthcare provider to figure out what could be going on and if you need stronger treatment options.