Anxiety is more than just a psychological issue. Anxiety manifests itself into all sorts of physical symptoms, and one of the most unusual is the way anxiety can cause you to itch.
Anxiety itch can be caused by anxiety directly, or it may be related to skin problems that your anxiety makes worse. In this article, we'll look at the potential causes of an itch from anxiety, and how to get rid of it.
Itch = Anxiety?
Itchy skin can be a sign that you're having an allergic reaction to something, or it can be a sign of an illness. But it may also be caused by anxiety. While itchy skin from anxiety is uncommon, it is not rare. Take my anxiety test now to find out more about itchy skin, anxiety, and anxiety conditions.
Itchy Skin Caused By Anxiety
Itchy skin from anxiety isn't "common" in the general sense. But anxiety causes a great deal of stress, and stress has a damaging effect on organs. Since your skin is the largest organ on your body, anxiety is known to lead to rash and a feeling of itch.
When it's anxiety, you'll rarely have only itchy skin. It's almost always accompanied by other symptoms. If you haven't yet, take the free 7 minute anxiety test. I developed for figuring out which of your symptoms are likely anxiety, and which are not.
It's difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of itch from anxiety without a full examination, because it may be caused by several different factors. Yet the most common causes include:
- Stress Hives Hives are itchy bumps caused by your immune system. They're generally caused by allergies, but they can also be triggered by stress. Anxiety causes a considerable amount of stress, so those prone to hives are likely to get them.
- Sweat Rash Anxiety also causes sweating, and sweating can lead to a sweat rash, also known as a heat rash. These rashes are completely safe, but they can be extremely itchy and may take as long as two weeks or more to go away.
- Triggered Itch While uncommon, anxiety also triggers skin conditions you already have. Anxiety is known to trigger eczema, herpes, psoriasis, and other skin disorders. None of these are dangerous if triggered.
- Worse Itch Itching and rashes are also fairly common to get in life, even when nothing is wrong. But when you suffer from anxiety, physical sensations often feel worse than they would if you didn't suffer from anxiety. So it's possible that a very light rash that would otherwise be ignored feels much worse, and causes you to focus on it more.
It's also possible to experience an itch for reasons that cannot be explained. Not all of the ways that anxiety affects the body are entirely clear. Anxiety can also cause feelings that resemble itch, like tingling feelings in your arm or extremities.
It's also possible to feel more anxiety in general if you have anxiety and are suffering from an itch. Those with health anxiety, for example, can often have full blown anxiety attacks when something feels "wrong." So the itch itself may not be caused by anxiety, but anxiety may be triggered as a result of the itch.
How to Cure Anxiety Itch
Only a doctor can diagnose your itch, and make sure that you're not suffering from some type of illness, or a mosquito or spider bite.
Reducing anxiety itch is exactly the same as reducing any type of itch. Even though the itch or rash is caused by anxiety, once a rash occurs it's up to your skin or body to eliminate it. Contrary to popular belief, there is no rapid way to get rid of a rash.
There are, however, ways to reduce the itch in general - the same things you would do for any type of itch. These include:
- Witch Hazel
- Ice Compress
- Oatmeal Home Remedies
- Baking Soda
- Aloe Vera
Avoid scratching the itch as much as possible. Scratching causes bumps to become irritated and inflamed, which actually makes them itch worse and last longer. Also, keep the area of the skin dry as much as possible, and avoid tight fitting clothes that may irritate the itch.
How to Prevent Anxiety Related Itch
When anxiety is causing you to itch, the key to keeping itch away is to control your stress and anxiety. Only by keeping your anxiety in check can you prevent the itch or rash from coming back.
To start, take my anxiety test now. It's free, and it's the first thing I tell those I work with to use before they can cure their anxiety. Only by understanding where your anxiety comes from and how can you stop it forever, and my 7 minute anxiety test is the best place to start.
So if you haven't already,take it now.
Author: Micah Abraham, BSc Psychology, last updated Sep 28, 2017.