The fact that stress and tension are enemies of your mental health is widely known. The fact that the hormone cortisol, produced due to stress, can lead to weight gain is also common knowledge. Another fact about cortisol is that it can also give you acne.
“The production of cortisol in the body prompts the skin to produce more oil and oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin problems,” explains Dr Sruthi Gondi, MD and founder, Science of Skin, Hyderabad.
However, the ill effects of stress don’t just end here. Your stress can even result in a skin rash. According to Dr Gondi, stress causes a chemical response in the body that can make your skin more sensitive and reactive. This oversensitivity can make your skin more prone to reacting to allergens and may even cause hives.
What does a stress-induced skin rash look like?
Much like with any other skin rash, “…the affected areas can feel itchy. In some cases, they cause a tingling or burning sensation when touched,” Dr Gondi explains.
In case of a severe condition, like hives, rashes might be accompanied by pain, fever, skin peeling, and blisters.
That’s not it! If you’re someone who relies heavily on caffeine–be it from tea or coffee–to deal with stress, your situation could very well be worse. Why you ask? Well, because caffeine dehydrates the skin and can hence make your skin dry and flaky.
How can you deal with a stress rash?
“A stress rash can be treated at home by using non-prescription antihistamines. These can help to relieve the itching,” Dr Gondi suggests.
“Keeping your skin cool by taking a cold shower or using a cold compress can also relieve itching,” she adds.
In fact, home remedies like applying an oatmeal pack or aloe vera gel on the affected area, and taking a bath with baking soda and water can also help soothe irritation and itchiness.
If despite all this, the skin rash doesn’t seem to desist, then it’s time to visit a dermatologist.