Anxiety rash: Symptoms, treatment, and prevention

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An anxiety rash is an itchy rash that may look similar to hives. It is due to anxiety rather than any other factors, such as certain foods or medications.

Research has found that chronic anxiety increases the sympathetic nervous system response to stress. This response releases histamine, a substance the body usually releases to respond to any injury, inflammation, or allergic reaction. An increased release of histamine may lead to a rash or hives.

Emotional effects of an anxiety rash

Anxiety rash may cause people to feel more anxiety or embarrassment, due to the symptoms or appearance of the rash. Although people may try to hide the rash, covering the rash with makeup, lotions, or tight clothing may worsen the rash.

A rash from stress or anxiety usually resolves in 24 hours, and topical treatments may help to reduce the rash and any uncomfortable symptoms.

Focusing on calming techniques and tools to reduce anxiety may help people feel less anxious, and also help to treat the rash.