Stress Rash: What It Is How To Treat And Prevent
You have stress. You have a skin rash. What is going on? Are the effects of stress making your skin worse? Well, let’s find out. In this article, we will explore stress rashes and what causes them. We will also talk about the different treatment options you have for stress rashes. Lastly, we will look at ways to prevent stress from worsening your skin condition in the future.
Whats The Difference Between Skin Rashes And Hives
Skin rashes and hives are often mistaken as being the same. However, there are slight differences between these skin-related issues.
A skin rash is an unusual change in your skins color, texture, or appearance due to skin inflammation. This inflammation occurs when your body reacts to an infection, an autoimmune disorder , or substances that cause allergic reactions.
Hives, also known as urticaria, are a type of skin rash that can occur when your immune system releases the chemical histamine in response to an allergen. The appearance of hives can differ from other skin rashes, and hives usually have a recognizable pattern.
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.
Its 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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Why Would Anxiety Cause A Rash
Its not the anxiety itself that causes a rash, but the stress caused by anxiety.
Stress puts your body in a state of extreme tension and releases a great deal of cortisol and adrenaline into your bloodstream both of which are known to lead to skin reactions.
Stress also makes your skin more sensitive, so things that would not typically cause you to have a skin reaction might create one on your skin.
For reasons that are still not entirely clear, stress also causes skin conditions to get worse. If you have:
Outbreaks of all of these problems are often triggered or made worse by stress. Stress doesnt create these conditions, but it prevents them from remaining dormant or less active.
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Skin Rash Hives Causes
Raised red bumps on your face, neck, arms and chest, hives vary in size from tiny bumps to large welts. Severe hives form into itchy, burning clusters. The most common cause of hives is an allergic reaction, but, hives can also can be caused by a reaction to stress. Warm temps and caffeinated or alcoholic drinks can aggravate hives.
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What Is A Stress Rash
A rash induced by stress is a stress rash. Stress rashes are like hives or welts. These are red, swollen and can be itchy too. Some may be smaller than the rubber of your pencil while others can be large patches. The red blotchy skin due to stress is unsightly. Besides, it may be accompanied by constant itching and a burning sensation.
Read below to find out how to get rid of a stress rash and its annoying symptoms quickly.
How Do I Get Rid Of Stress Hives
The first step in managing stress-related hives is taking steps to help manage stress, so stress isnt triggering the reaction in the first place.
Managing stress is easier said than done, of course. While there is not much data on stress-relieving activities that might specifically help hives, there is evidence that things like yoga, meditation, and exercise can help people with psoriasis, and theres evidence those stress-relieving activities can help with eczema, too.
And if those activities can help those skin conditions, its safe to assume they may also help with hives, too, Friedman says.
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Some people benefit from avoiding wool, irritating chemicals and fragrances, and harsh soaps, and by using emollients to hydrate the skin.
If stress is contributing to hives for you, then controlling stress can help. Not only does managing stress lessen the frequency or severity of hives, youll reap all the other physical, mental, and emotional benefits of coping well with the stress you face, Elmariah says.
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What Causes Stress Rashes
Stress rashes are caused by stress and stress can be caused by anything that is upsetting or causes worry and anxiety. Stress rash is also known as a contact dermatitis because the skin becomes red and irritated. Common causes of stress rash include:
- Allergens such as pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, poison ivy, etc.
- An environmental trigger such as sunlight, spending time in the water, extreme temperatures, and sweating
- Chemicals usually from soaps, lotions, or laundry detergents that you come into contact with on a daily basis like those in your laundry products or household cleaning supplies
- Food allergens like those in peanut butter, nuts, eggs, and dairy
- Stress itself can also be an irritant to some people
- Medicines as people can develop allergies to them such as with penicillin
These are some of the common causes, but not all of them. If you do not know what is causing your stress rash and it is persistent, we recommend that you get medical attention from your healthcare provider or dermatologist to determine the correct treatment for you.
Allergic Skin Rash Treatment
In these tests, tiny amounts of various chemicals are placed on your skin for two days to see if an allergic rash develops. Woods lamp A Woods lamp is a black light used to help evaluate rashes. Depending on the specific reason for the rash, the light may cause the affected area of skin to glow red, pale blue, yellow or white.
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Treatment Of Anxiety Hives
Since anxiety hives occur as a result of your bodys autoimmune reaction to high stress and anxiety levels in your body, they may be treated by a non-prescription type of antihistamines.
If you know you are easily prone to developing anxiety hives, you can make use of antihistamines as a preventive measure.
However, individuals who may have severe anxiety hives episodes may need to see their physician for a more effective anti-inflammatory prescription.
Several other non-medicinal treatments for anxiety hives, which may also help prevent this unpleasant skin condition.
Preventing an anxiety hive may not always be possible. Some situations may allow you to deal with anxiety-inducing hives before it may occur.
If you find out that you are feeling overly anxious, it may be wise for you to take a break from what you are doing and try to calm yourself if the situation permits.
If the situation does not permit you to stop what you are doing, you can pause for a while and take in deep breaths.
Lets take, for example, that you are in mid-air and feel anxious about flying, taking deep breaths, and calming your mind. It may help deal with anxiety hives in such a scenario.
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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.
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Is Stress Over Coronavirus Manifesting On Your Skin Here Are Six Ways To Feel Some Relief
Stress isnt necessarily the root cause of chronic skin conditions. But since the 1980s, says Jefferson Health dermatologist Dr. Matthew S. Keller, evidence has suggested that it can contribute to temporary hives, rashes and itchy skin in those who dont normally suffer from them and exacerbate cases in those who do.
When people are under physical or emotional stress, they tend to take that out on their skin somewhat, says Dr. Keller, who specializes in the treatment of psoriasis. They tend to pick and scratch more with anxiety, which can aggravate and spread rashes, hives and itchiness.
Dr. Keller offers some tips on how to keep stress-related hives and rashes at bay.
Get Your Exercise
Dr. Keller has recently seen, via telehealth, a greater proportion of patients with significant skin flare-ups of psoriasis, eczema, hives and itchiness than is normal for this time of year.
Its hard to say scientifically that this is attributable to the coronavirus, he notes, but anecdotally, a number of patients dermatologic conditions have become a lot worse. The coronavirus has had an impact on our stress levels and our ability to go out and do things we normally do. People arent taking walks, sitting in parks, golfing, or going to the beach as much. Less fresh air, sunshine and exercise have an impact.
Take an Antihistamine
Try a Soak and Smear
Nervous Rash From Stress
High-pressure nervous syndrome is a neurological and physiological diving disorder which can result when a diver descends below about 500 feet using a breathing gas containing helium. The effects experienced, and the severity of those effects, depend on the rate of descent, the depth and the percentage of helium.
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Causes And Risk Factors
In general, rashes are caused by skin inflammation which in turn can have many causes. One of the most common forms of a rash is contact dermatitis, which occurs when a substance of some sort irritates the skin. Contact dermatitis may cause mild redness of the skin or a rash of small red bumps. A more severe reaction may cause swelling, redness and larger blisters.
Common causes of contact dermatitis and its resulting rash include:
- Poison ivy or poison oak
- Soaps, detergents, shampoos, deodorants, perfumes and lotions, especially ones with danger synthetic scents
- Household chemicals like bleach
- Prolonged exposure to heat
- Prolonged exposure to moisture
- An allergy to a medication
- A side effect or photosensitivity to a medication
When it comes to rash risk factors, having a viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection all put you at greater risk for developing a rash. Also, a family or personal history of allergies or asthma raises your rash risk. Since rashes are commonly the result of contact with poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak or from insect bites then its not surprising that people who spend more time outdoors have a higher risk of developing a rash.
Now that weve talked so much about the various rash types, causes and risk factors, lets get to the solution sections: how to get rid of a rash.
Can You Get A Rash From Anxiety
You may feel like your stress rash has come bam! out of nowhere, but often it can be the result of long-term, low-level chronic stress occurring in our brain and body thanks to work, relationships or even trying to move house .
‘Excessive or persistent stress may keep our immune system on high alert, which can cause inflammation levels in our body to increase to a point that our skin structure and function will be impacted,’ says Felton.
‘High levels of stress will generate free radical damage that will harm healthy cells throughout our body. In fact, due to the intrinsic inflammatory cascade, steroids and adrenaline will be produced which will break capillaries and create inflammation. The sensory nerve endings become over stimulated, which will make the skin more reactive and possibly inflamed.’
Alternatively, when triggered by food, sunlight or allergies, our body can stress out in response leading to, in some cases, a stress rash, she notes.
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How To Get Rid Of Allergy Rash
If the skin allergy rash or even the eczema is brought about or aggravated by dust mite allergy, there is a safe treatment that can help to alleviate the symptoms. It will not cure the skin allergy but can also make life very much pleasant by removing or even reducing of the unpleasant symptoms that you currently suffer.
You Cannot Always Prevent Hives
You get hives when something causes high levels of histamine and other chemicals to be released in your skin. This is known as a trigger.
Triggers can include:
- contact with certain plants, animals, chemicals and latex
- cold such as cold water or wind
- hot, sweaty skin from exercise, emotional stress or eating spicy food
- a reaction to a medicine, insect bite or sting
- scratching or pressing on your skin such as wearing itchy or tight clothing
- an infection
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Wear Loose And Lightweight Clothes
Disrupt your daily wearing routines with the purpose of preventing the breaking-out of hives throughout other parts of your body. Your skin has a stronger power to recover, breathe and combat with hives when it is covered with loose and lightweight costumes. Cotton is the best option during this tiring time.
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What Are The Causes Of Anxiety Hives
Anxiety hives are mostly caused by persistent stress or tension. It may be common for some people to deal with anxiety every day.
Still, when they are subjected to situations that may further increase their anxiety or stress level, their existing physical conditions may worsen.
Or they may develop new health conditions, including anxiety rash.
The emotional state of your body has a strong connection to your physiological wellness. If anyone of them is compromised, it may affect the state of the other one as well.
The level of anxiety or emotional stress you may be facing at any point in time may impact on your bodys physical health condition.
When you experience heightened anxiety, you may develop anxiety hives, especially in extremely stressful periods such as working overtime or being caught up with relationship troubles.
Anxiety hives may appear during life-changing events such as a divorce, losing a loved one, or having your dream wedding.
It may also occur at instances where you are in anticipation of a stressful situation such as going to a party or giving out a public speech.
The anxiety level that may cause anxiety hives to appear on skin surfaces differs from person to person. Anxiety hives may not appear on the skin of some people, except they have gone through a whole lot of stress.
However, some people may develop anxiety hives at the slightest sign of stress.