healthy skin

What Skin Conditions Are Related to Anxiety?

Feeling confident is much more challenging when you’re struggling with skin problems. Although you might deal with symptoms with at-home solutions or over-the-counter products, your mental health could be an underlying trigger. Learn more about how anxiety can cause skin issues to better understand how your body works and how to care for yourself more effectively.

Can Anxiety Cause Skin Issues?

Anxiety is a condition that produces numerous stress hormones, causing physiological reactions like skin problems. If you have daily anxiety over months or years, the skin-related symptoms may degrade your quality of life. Anxiety affects the skin in numerous ways, but you can always find help after understanding how your body works.

Why Does the Nervous System Affect the Skin?

Your nervous system may seem more closely related to your brain and other organs, but your skin is your largest organ with three sensitive layers. As your brain produces cortisol and adrenaline when you feel anxious or stressed, those rising hormone levels interact with your skin like any other organ.

This is one of the primary ways anxiety can cause skin issues. People with anxiety might even make their skin conditions worse with anxious habits like picking or scratching. 

What Skin Conditions Are Related to Anxiety?

Now that you know how anxiety can cause skin issues, it’s time to learn which conditions are most common for people with anxiety. 

1. Eczema

A recent study found that eczema and generalized eczema are common in people with anxiety. The itchy, uncomfortable symptoms decrease a person’s quality of life even when the eczema is mild to moderate. As a result, eczema causes more significant anxiety. 

Your primary care provider can work with you if you prefer a medical treatment that includes prescription antihistamines or steroids. If you’d rather try a home-based remedy first, you can always eat a dairy-free diet to avoid triggering your eczema or apply your preferred moisturizer multiple times daily to resolve itchy patches.

2. Stress Rashes

If your body responds to anxiety with eczema patches, it’s more sensitive to your stress hormones. Increased stress may lead to rashes that resemble eczema but appear as small bumps similar to mosquito bites.

Many people who get stress rashes assume they have hives. The conditions appear similar, but hives only occur when something triggers your allergies, causes an infection or makes your immune system flare up. Stress might worsen hives, but it isn’t a singular cause.

This is one of the many ways anxiety can cause skin problems, but you don’t have to live with itchy, bumpy skin forever. There are numerous ways to improve and protect your skin while waiting for stress rashes to resolve themselves.

You can wear mineral sunscreen outdoors to prevent your skin from drying out or burning, worsening your rashes even more. Mineral sunscreen may be more effective for your sensitive skin because the minerals deflect ultraviolet (UV) rays without breaking down. They’re tougher than standard chemical ingredients, but you must reapply if water or sweat washes the sunscreen away.

You could also use an itch-relieving lotion with soothing aloe or oatmeal ingredients. Your doctor may also prescribe an antihistamine cream if they suspect your rash began due to allergens.

3. Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin condition that affects people of all ages if they have immune-mediated inflammatory responses to environmental triggers like smoking or stress. The same research shows 60–90% of psoriasis cases also occur due to a person’s genetic predisposition.

Stress makes psoriasis worse by increasing the stress hormones in your body. You might see more red patches or cysts across your body when you feel more anxious than usual. Your doctor can treat psoriasis with topical therapies or injected medications, but you can also relieve your anxiety with self-care habits to reduce its long-term effect on your skin.

4. Chronic Sweating

Sometimes, anxiety makes the body increase its internal temperature because it feels like it’s under attack. That response would normally kill an invading virus, but it doesn’t do much to defeat anxiety. As a result, the body starts sweating to activate thermoregulation and bring the body back to its normal temperature. It’s one of the many ways anxiety affects the skin and a person’s daily quality of life.

Anyone concerned about their body odor due to their anxiety-related sweating can also mitigate it with household items. In addition to your preferred deodorant, a budget-friendly solution such as witch hazel kills odor-causing bacteria without drying out the skin like rubbing alcohol. You can also learn to reduce your anxiety with stress-relief techniques like deep breathing to minimize your sweating after it begins.

5. Rosacea

Anxiety may trigger rosacea episodes for some people. Rosacea causes flushed red patches that may develop small bumps or a coarse texture for some individuals. While medical experts don’t have a singular cause for rosacea, stress hormones might make it worse for people living with chronic anxiety. Steroid lotions may help the most, but you’ll have to talk with your doctor to learn more about the best remedy for this long-term condition.

6. Dandruff

When someone feels stressed, the body directs most of its energy to the hormone production needed to survive whatever it perceives as a stressful situation. The immune system becomes compromised as a result, which directly affects the skin. The top layer of your skin is your immune system’s primary defense, so it gets less energy to maintain healthy cells during stressful periods.

You might notice you have more dandruff when you’re anxious if this effect is particularly prominent for your body. Get daily relief with dandruff shampoos and hydrating conditioners while figuring out whatever triggers your anxiety. You could also treat yourself to a homemade hair mask with apple cider vinegar, which has antifungal properties that kill microscopic fungi that may intensify your dandruff.

Care for Your Comprehensive Well-Being 

Anxiety can cause skin issues, but you don’t have to live with their side effects forever. Talk with your doctor if any of these symptoms seem familiar. They’ll help you find at-home and medical treatment solutions to improve your quality of life however you prefer.

This is a collaborative post supporting our Peace In Peace Out initiative.

Related Posts