What Is A Stress Rash?
Stress rash appears due to over emotions like stress. There is no pin-point reason for the occurrence of this stress rash on the skin but many people get this due to anxiety, stress, and negative emotions. Negative emotions have their direct impact on the immune system releasing chemicals like histamine that increases the sensitivity of your skin that can set a flare-up. Unlike said there are also cases where some develop stress rash with no such conditions. To the bottom line, facts are spoken, the billboard of the emotional stress or anxiety is your skin, many times. How we handle our mental emotions matters a lot as it has a strong impact on skin, hair, and nails. The skin may react in the form of itch bumps, hives, or any other as such rashes. In case, if you already have any skin problem then it gets worsened or may take longer to cure.
[Also Read: Causes of bumps on bottom of foot]
How Does A Stress Rash Look Like?
Stress rash can take the form of red bumps called hives or wheals or welts. These hives can appear anywhere but mostly noticed on face, chest, neck, or arms. Hives can be smaller or take the shape of large welts or clusters. The skin areas with hives appear risen, red, and bit swollen and can be as small as a pen nib to as big as a CD. At times depending on the severity these patches may come together and connect forming further larger welts thus spreading and covering large areas of skin. Hives are itchy, burning, or may even cause a tingling sensation.
Causes Of Stress Rash
Hives are usually a way of how your immune system reacts to an allergen or due to a viral infection, illness, or any environmental triggers like stress. Nuts, cow milk, soy, eggs, seafood, etc are a few common food allergens. Pollen, pet dander, certain medications are few other notable allergens. Hot and cold temperatures, sunlight, exercise, water, etc are few environmental triggers.
The additional chemicals released during stress flares-up your skin. These chemicals cause imbalances in the hormones too, change your body’s responding ability to various functions thus causing sensitivity, inflammation and other such discomforts to the skin.
Effects Of Stress Rash On Skin
Stress rashes are a very common skin problem in many and are transient so they go away on their own within 24 hours. Stress rash which is caused due to various reasons makes your skin more sensitive and reactive. Stress rash worsens your existing skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, etc. Itching caused by stress rash if uncontrolled can lead to bleeding, scrambling, and wounds on the skin and finally leaving permanent scars on the skin.
[Also Read: What causes corner of eye itching]
How To Treat Stress Rash On The Skin?
Although doctors don’t know the underlying cause for a stress rash they do know how to fix it.
There are different ways on how one can treat an anxiety stress rash or depression rash. There are also certain home remedies that give great itching relief, mostly immediately. However, it is always suggested to, in parallel, consult a doctor.
- Cold compress
- Oatmeal bath
- Coconut oil
- Tea tree oil
- Baking soda
- Indigo naturalis
- Apple cider vinegar
- Epsom or dead sea salts
- Plant oils like olive oil, Argan oil, jojoba, chamomile etc.
In cases of severity, doctors’ prescriptions can relieve the problem.
Tips To Prevent Stress Rash
You may not be able to avoid stress completely but you can manage it and that will benefit your skin. Although certain stressors can’t be avoided the following things can aid in the way how you can deal with the stress and thereby stress rash, like;
- Keep an eye on your skin and care for it, especially when stressed or tired.
- Exercise is good for skin as well.
- Giving time for yourself, even 10minutes is worth a lot.
- Make walking a habit.
- Practice breathing exercises, yoga, visual imagery or meditation.
- Sleep well.
- Balanced diet
When To See A Doctor?
Based on the seriousness, hives, or Stress rash that itch can last from 24 hours to 6 weeks. If they persist for more than 6 weeks which is very rare, it is considered as chronic.
You need to make an appointment with the doctor if the rash takes longer to clear. Treatment can also be taken if the irritation is causing more discomfort irrespective of when it clears up. Hives may at times appear on the entire body along with skin blisters or peeling, fever and or pain, in which case one should immediately consult a skin specialist.
At the bottom, reducing the exposure to stress is the best way to control the chances of rash on the skin. It may not always be possible to avoid the impact of stress on your body and in which case a stress rash on skin is unavoidable. But in case of occurrence, its impact is to be minimized to prevent the further worsening of the conditions.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.