Rashes Caused by Anxiety

Updated February 21, 2017

Anxiety releases a myriad of chemical reactions in the body, including adrenalin and cortisol, which can cause eruptions on the skin's surface. With all of the products on the market touted to treat skin ailments, it can be difficult to realise that many skin problems are simply the result of stress and anxiety.


Psoriasis is a skin condition affecting the scalp, arms, legs and neck that can be identified by the appearance of silvery scales. Often itchy and easily spread, psoriasis can increase dramatically during stressful periods.


Eczema is an extremely itchy skin rash that usually affects the insides of the knees and elbows. It is characterised by pink to red rashes that appear dry and leathery. Anxiety and stress can exacerbate eczema and can make treatment difficult.


Acne can have a variety of causes, including stress. Stress-related acne often subsides and reoccurs depending on stress levels in the body, and often can be controlled when stress levels are reduced.


Hives are typically caused by an allergic reaction to a substance, but also can be the result of a highly stressful event. Sudden bursts of cortisol can cause eruptions of hives on the skin's surface, seen as itchy, fluid-filled blisters.


Dermatitis is characterised by patches of itchy, thickened skin, and can be present anywhere on the body. When stress and anxiety increases, dermatitis can increase in severity and in size.

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