Stress affects the skin, often in the form of hives
Stress affects the skin, often in the form of hives

Stress often affects the skin adversely. It causes the formation of a stress hormone that increases oil production in the body, making it prone to acne. Stress may also cause itchy welts to appear on the skin. These welts are commonly known as hives and can appear on any part of the skin. These welts can vary in sizes and may connect to form a larger welt.

Hives are generally red, raised, and swollen, which can be as small as a pencil tip or as large as a dinner plate, and may present with a tingling or burning sensation. Generally, a single hive disappears within 24 hours or less, and a new hive appears at a different site as the older one subsides. A bout of hives or multiple hives usually takes about 6 weeks to resolve and is known as acute hives. Hives lasting for more than 6 weeks are known as chronic hives.

Urticaria is the medical term for hives. Angioedema is an emergency condition in which the welt occurs deeper in the skin and causes the eyelids and lips to swell.

Is a stress rash common?

Stress rash is common and anyone can get it. Stress induces a chemical response in the body that affects all the body parts.

Stress rash isn’t a reason for concern and can be treated at home. Stress rash can also occur due to underlying skin conditions, such as psoriasis, rosacea, lichen planus, and eczema. These may need medical management.

What other factors cause a stress rash?

An allergic reaction can trigger a stress rash. Things that commonly trigger an allergic reaction include:

  • Foods, such as milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish
  • Medicines
  • Animals
  • Pollens and dander
  • Latex
  • Animal furs
  • Allergy shots

Other factors that cause hives are:

  • Bacterial or fungal infection
  • Diseases, such as lupus, vasculitis, or thyroid disorders
  • Exercise
  • Contact with chemicals
  • Exposure to sun, heat, cold, or water
  • Rigorous scratching of the skin
  • Pressure on the skin due to prolonged sitting

How to get rid of a stress rash?

Proper coping with stress can help you to get rid of a stress rash. Try these methods:

  1. Taking good care of your skin by keeping it clean and moisturized
  2. Exercising regularly may prove beneficial to your skin and the body
  3. Setting aside some time for yourself by indulging in things that make you happy
  4. Relieving your stress and anxiety by practicing breathing techniques and meditation
  5. Sleeping for seven to eight hours is essential for healthy skin
  6. Do not overstress yourself with tasks or deadlines
  7. Seeking help from someone you trust

A stress rash may also require medications to treat them, which may include:

When to call a doctor?

Inform your doctor, if you observe any of the following symptoms:

  • Widespread of rashes all over the body
  • A rash accompanied by swelling of face and breathing problems
  • A rash accompanied by fever
  • Sudden onset and rapid spreading of the rash
  • Painful rashes
  • An infected rash with a discharge of yellow or green fluid
  • Blistering rash
  • Skin discoloration or changes in the skin along with the rashes
  • Bruising or swelling around the rash

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Medically Reviewed on 9/15/2020
References
https://www.webmd.com/beauty/the-effects-of-stress-on-your-skin

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/hives-self-care

https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/itchy-skin/rash/rash-101#:~:text=If%20you%20have%20a%20rash,a%20fever%20with%20the%20rash.

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