Stress Rash: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
Updated April 14, 2023.
Be it emotional, physical, or even psychosocial, stress can be a detrimental factor that can both cause and exacerbate several other conditions. Emotional stress can be so profound that it can even trigger physical symptoms, either causing rashes or worsening the existence of other inflammatory skin conditions.
This article seeks to define the nature of stress rashes, how long they typically last, and some tips and products for treating them without having to seek medical attention.
What Is a Stress Rash?
It is important not to confuse every type of skin condition with a stress rash. Not everyone will manifest the same stress symptoms, or even to the same degree.
As for the appearance, a stress rash looks very similar to a standard allergic reaction. When your body is exposed to an allergen that you are sensitive to, your immune system releases histamine, which triggers the inflammatory response characterised by itchy red hives (welts) sprouting up in various places, including:
- Face and neck
- Hands (wrists and fingers)
- Arms (especially the inner elbow)
The interesting part about this reaction is that it doesn't have to be triggered by a physical allergen like pollen, dust, or foodstuffs, it can also be triggered by environmental factors like rapid temperature changes and stress.
How Long Does a Stress Rash Normally Last?
It's difficult to give an exact figure as to how long your anxiety or depression stress rash will last. The figure varies from person to person and can be alleviated and exacerbated by numerous external factors.
Typically, hives appear shortly after exposure to an allergen, but stress rash hives can take up to a few days to manifest. Additionally, a single localised portion of hives usually disappears within 24 hours but can immediately be replaced by another in the same spot. As such, rashes can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Although a stress rash generally shouldn't require a visit to the doctor, if your symptoms extend to the two-month mark, it's safe to say that your condition is chronic, and you should consider seeking medical attention.
Tips for Treating a Stress Rash at Home
There are many different ways that you can go about treating a stress rash naturally with some home remedies, whether it be attempting to alleviate the symptoms or fix the underlying cause of the condition (stress), here are some things you can try.
How to Treat the Symptoms of a Stress Rash
Not every method for treating a rash will work on you as effectively as it might on others, so you may have to try a few of these before you have some luck:
- Cold therapy By far the simplest, fastest, and most inexpensive treatment for many inflammatory conditions. Research has shown that cold therapy can reduce blood flow to an area, reducing symptoms of inflammation, swelling, and even pain. A simple way to utilize cold therapy is by taking a cold shower or using ice pads.
- Therapeutic or moisturizing oils Diluted tea tree oil or even simple virgin coconut oil both possess moisturizing properties that can help to hydrate the skin and reduce symptoms of itchiness and dryness. Studies have shown that both tea tree oil and other essential oils like coconut and sunflower seed can reduce inflammatory responses when applied topically.
- Aloe vera Similar to the therapeutic effects of essential oils, studies have shown that aloe vera gel also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate irritant skin conditions. However, it's important to remember that some people can be allergic to aloe vera, which could exacerbate symptoms of stress rashes.
- Apple cider vinegar Research has shown that apple cider vinegar possesses anti-inflammatory properties that could effectively reduce pain symptoms and bring some relief to a skin rash.
- Over-the-counter antihistamines Although it's not technically a natural remedy, if nothing else is working and your symptoms are annoying you (and you are still reluctant to visit a doctor), your local pharmacist can provide you with some antihistamines or other anti-inflammatory drugs.
How to Reduce Stress
It stands to reason that reducing emotional stress should alleviate stress rashes. Some natural ways to do this are:
- Removing yourself from a stressful environment (such as taking a walk in nature)
- Socialising with friends
- Improving your diet
CBD and Functional Mushroom Products for Stress Rashes
An underrated treatment for inflammatory skin conditions and emotional stress is functional mushrooms and cannabidiol (CBD). The benefits of mushrooms for skin health and emotional stress can naturally work hand-in-hand with CBD oil's suggested anti-inflammatory (anti-rash) and anti-stress properties. Two effective products provided by Cannabotech that combine the powers of CBD and functional mushrooms are:
1. Soothe Skin Balm
Based on our ground-breaking M²CBD Formula, it will help your skin feel softer, smoother, and nourished. Say goodbye to feelings of discomfort or, irritation.
Premium CBD oil + functional mushrooms will revitalise your skin, to give you that healthy and balanced skin tone.
2. Relax Drops
Relax drops are designed to be your natural path to relax, refocus, and re-evaluate. Relax M²CBD Formula is packed with 3 types of functional mushrooms, and premium, CBD oil. Take control of your emotions; allow Relax Drops to lead the way.
Can Stress Rash Be Prevented?
As a final thought, preventing stress in its totality is all but impossible, especially combined with the intensity of the modern world. If this were possible, associated symptoms (like rashes and depression) would not exist. Although this isn't a reasonable goal to have, there are some steps you can take (as listed above) to reduce your stress as much as possible. Additionally, always keep a few natural remedies for treating stress rashes in mind and apply them as soon as symptoms present themselves.