Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Daniel in Seattle. Can stress or anxiety cause itching?
Itchy skin or pruritus is an inflammatory reaction of the skin and can affect the entire body depending on its cause. Being itchy can indicate mild or severe conditions such as severe allergic reactions or infection. It’s the body’s defense mechanism that alerts your body to something which is harmful to it.Can stress or anxiety cause itching? Yes. A common cause of itching is psychological brought on by stress or other emotional problems. The skin is the largest organ on your body and anxiety attacks this organ with an irritating itch. Not only that, but stress can aggravate other skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.
Stress also causes the body to produce hormones such as cortisol which cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil making the skin more prone to problems. Stress hormones also stimulate the production of a blood protein which causes allergic reactions.
Having itchy skin which is red and inflamed causes emotional disturbances like social withdrawal and embarrassment. Some people even resort to staying off from work and they keep to themselves. This just adds more stress and a fresh outbreak of itchy skin.
Because of the link between stress and itching, learning to manage stress with the help of a clinical psychologist can be helpful. Sometimes the joint assistance of a dermatologist and psychologist can be hugely beneficial and hypnosis and stress management can help to control your stress.
Lotions and creams can help with an itch as well and this assists with reducing anxiety and stress. Remedies such as aloe vera, witch hazel and even cortisone help to relieve an itch. It’s a good idea to be checked by a doctor just to make sure that your itch isn’t from an illness or an insect bite.