Have you ever noticed that when you’re preparing for a big event or are feeling anxious and upset your skin suddenly breaks out in red itchy bumps? If so you may be prone to getting a stress rash.
This type of rash happens during times of emotional duress of any sort and while it’s typically not serious, it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. It can also make your stress even worse! The good news is that this type of rash can be easily addressed and treated, and even avoided.
The key is to understand how and why these flare-ups occur so you can learn how to avoid them and then also how to manage them when they do occur. Consider the following.
Stress Rash Symptoms and Causes
To say that this type of rash occurs because a person is under stress is not completely accurate, as everyone experiences stress from time to time, but not everyone has an outbreak of hives on their skin.
Many experts say that a stress rash is actually related to the immune system and how it reacts during stressful times. When a person is experiencing stress or pressure from outside forces, their blood pressure may rise as the hearts pumps out more blood so that the body can deal with a stressful situation. Certain hormones and chemicals are also released to deal with pressure, and these reactions all compromise the body’s immunity.
For some, this reaction can affect their skin as they become more sensitive to things that might not otherwise bother them, such as soaps or lotions or even pollution around them. When their immune system is responding normally their skin is able to fight off this sensitivity, but when their immunity is compromised, they experience hives and irritation.
This type of irritation on the skin typically means red, swollen bumps or it can result in a raised pattern that is not red. Others may experience a severe dryness and itching of the skin. Because the body’s skin and immune system are different for everyone, the symptoms of a stress rash can also be different for everyone. You may experience an entirely different type of reaction than the next person.
Can it be Treated or Even Prevented?
Learning to better manage stress and pressure is the first step to avoiding a stress rash, as well as many other skin and non-skin related conditions. Physical activity releases endorphins which bring about a sense of calm, and which also help to control the physical changes associated with being under pressure.
Relaxing activities such as warm baths, deep breathing, and massages also help to keep the body calm. Taking care of one’s skin when under pressure is also vital. Adding oatmeal to the bath can keep skin cool and comfortable, and wearing comfortable clothes will avoid irritating sweat from chafing the skin.
For severe breakouts a doctor may recommend an antihistamine, since these help to control allergic reactions. Prescription ointments can also help to heal severe hives and irritation. Remember when you’re feeling pressure to take care of your skin and take care of yourself, so you avoid an unpleasant stress rash and the discomfort that comes with it.