Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Howard in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Can stress or anxiety cause rash?
The term rash is a general term that describes a change in the look of our skin because of discoloration and the way the skin feels. Seborrheic dermatitis is a common rash along with other well-known rashes such as heat rash, eczema and poison ivy. Doctors identify skin eruptions by looking at its shape, color, size and whether it’s tender to the touch. The distribution of the rash is also useful in diagnosis.
Can stress or anxiety cause rash? Yes. This is because stress causes hormonal imbalances and this affects the skin making it sensitive. You will find it reacting negatively to creams that you have used with no problems in the past. Adrenaline and cortisol are secreted into the bloodstream during bouts of extreme stress, and cortisol actually changes the skin structure and also results in the skin’s fat barrier decreasing.
Now this fat barrier is important for keeping the skin protected. Without a fat barrier, the skin becomes dry and susceptible to irritations such as a rash. Nutrition and lifestyle choices as well as genetics can play a role in who is more susceptible to getting a rash. Exercise, sufficient sleep, and nutrition affect every organ and metabolic process in the body.
Apart from over the counter antihistamines, creams and lotions, the best way to deal with a rash caused by anxiety and stress is to reduce stress levels. Having an effective stress management plan in place can help to reduce rash outbreaks. Wear loose fitting clothes made from non-irritating fabrics. And if your rash is hampering your way of life, your doctor may prescribe medications to immediately control the outbreak.