Anxiety Rash

An anxiety rash can appear as an itchy rash or hives on the body. This is due to high levels of anxiety rather than other reasons such as allergies.

Topical treatments or antihistamines can help relieve symptoms in the short term, but long-term treatment will include coping techniques to control anxiety and reduce stress. Reducing anxiety can help treat and prevent anxiety disorders.

In this article, we look at the symptoms, causes, and possible emotional impact of anxiety attacks. We look at treatment, prevention, and even how to tell if itching is due to anxiety or something else.

What is an Anxiety Rash?

Anxiety Rash

Urticaria is an itchy rash that looks like a hive. This 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’s response to stress. This reaction releases histamine, a substance that the body normally releases in response to any injury, inflammation, or allergic reaction. Increased release of histamine can cause itching or hives.

Emotional Effects of an Anxiety Rash

Anxiety hives can cause people to feel more anxious or embarrassed, because of the symptoms or appearance of the hives. Although people may try to hide the rash, covering the rash with makeup, lotion, or tight clothing can make the rash worse.

A rash caused by stress or anxiety usually clears up within 24 hours, and topical treatments can help reduce the rash and any uncomfortable symptoms.

Focusing on calming techniques and tools to reduce anxiety can help people feel less anxious, and can also help treat flare-ups.


An anxiety disorder can affect anyone who experiences anxiety. People may experience anxiety for a number of reasons, including:

  • Genetic research has shown that people who have relatives with anxiety disorders may also experience anxiety.
  • environmental factors. Stressful life events, trauma, grief, abuse, or prolonged illness can all contribute to anxiety.

Anxiety Rash Symptoms

If people have acne breakouts, they may have the following symptoms:

  • Small spots or papules on the skin
  • Rash may resolve within 24 hours Trusted Source
  • Hives, or raised welts on the skin
  • The rash feels itchy or irritated.
  • Itching may appear in connection with high levels of anxiety or stress, without any obvious triggers

Along with itching symptoms, people may also experience high levels of anxiety or stress. Symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • Feeling fear or dread in non-threatening situations
  • Being alert for any signs of danger, (which some experts call hypervigilance)
  • Feeling restless or irritable
  • Feeling jumpy, tense, or on edge
  • Anticipating the worst, (what mental health experts call catastrophizing)

Other physical signs of anxiety can include:

  • Palpitations or racing heart
  • Increased sweating
  • Shocks and shocks
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Upset stomach or digestive problems
  • Frequent need to urinate

If people experience anxiety symptoms on a regular basis, they may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are common and have many effective treatment options.

Is It Anxiety Causing the Rash, or Something Else?

To tell if anxiety is causing the itching, or if it’s for another reason, people can try to rule out all other possible causes. Other factors that can cause itching may include:

  • Allergies to certain foods or medications.
  • A skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis
  • bath products, jewelry, or laundry detergents.
  • Contact with certain plants, such as poison ivy
  • Contact dermatitis caused by a reaction to ingredients in topical lotions, makeup
  • Disease, such as measles or chicken pox

If people have eliminated all other possible causes, and notice that a rash develops in connection with experiencing high levels of anxiety or stress, it may be due to an anxiety disorder.


Anxiety management can help prevent anxiety. A range of lifestyle changes and coping strategies can help. People can try the following techniques to find the combination of tools that works best for them:

  • regular meditation
  • mindfulness activities
  • limiting alcohol and caffeine, which may trigger panic attacks
  • eating a nutritious, balanced diet
  • setting aside a set time to worry before releasing it, to allow more control over each day
  • understanding personal triggers
  • listening to music
  • yoga
  • focusing on replacing negative thoughts with positive ones
  • regular exercise, in particular aerobic exercise
  • counting to 10 slowly when feeling anxious
  • finding humor and laughing
  • talking to friends, family, or a healthcare professional if feeling overwhelmed
  • breathing exercises
  • connecting with a local community (find a support network, or volunteer as a break from everyday situations)
  • getting regular, quality sleep
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