Read how Your Doctors.Online helped Jennifer deal with a stress rash!
From its reddish appearance to the relentless itch and sleepless nights, living with a stress rash can be downright challenging on anyone’s emotional well-being. I am a 30 years old working woman. Annoyance, distraction, loss of focus from projects — These are all things I deal with at work during an eczema flare-up. Then, of course, the frustrating constant urge to scratch all the time, but being at the front desk at work, I try to be mindful. I never want anyone to think something is wrong with me.
Conquering my fears of life
Learning how to accept my atopic dermatitis was never easy. Thoughts like, why me? Why was I made this way? I want a different skin, or I hate my body that flooded my mind.
These affirmations and thoughts made everything 10-times worse. I wasn’t aware that it was all due to a stress rash.
Stress rash and my mental health
My nerves were always at their peak. Whenever I was tidying up at work while using gloves, my hands would get red and itchy. Even after I washed them using a soap that would sometimes cause a rash.
I avoided moisturising my hands, knowing it would get everywhere and would worsen my rash. The symptoms of my atopic dermatitis were terrible enough, plus constantly resisting the urge to scratch and wearing full sleeves even during summers was highly bothersome.
I was struggling to hide the rash from my coworkers. So, I decided enough was enough.
I did everything to treat the stress rash.
I saw anyone and everyone who might help: GPs, dermatologists, allergists. Additionally, I tried everything, including medications, creams, salves, cutting out gluten, dairy, corn and ended up living on lettuce only. As well-intentioned as these efforts were, they were not sustainable and had little effect.
I have been prescribed a steroid cream. It certainly helped, but I know now that it was only masking the symptoms caused by an underlying problem. Nobody gave me the information that this is mainly a stress-related rash.
I was able to find the root cause of my condition: Stress.
The turning point came in 2021 when I searched for an online doctor to help me with my condition. I saw Your Doctors Online at the top of my search. I downloaded the app and immediately got connected to Dr Fizza Imtiaz. After taking my history, she gave me the diagnosis of Atopic dermatitis with flare-ups due to stress.
Based on our conversation, she explained that the leading cause of my aggravated disease is stress. She told me that when we experience a stressful situation, the body goes into fight-or-flight mode and produces stress hormones. However, the overproduction of these stress hormones can cause rashes on the skin. People with conditions like eczema are particularly susceptible to this inflammatory response.
I was looking for the root cause of my worsening eczema. Even after taking every treatment, I wondered why is it not getting better? But, after this conversation, I got all my answers.
Thanks to Your Doctors Online, my life has changed from sufferer to survivor of a stress rash.
She explained that this is Atopic dermatitis, more commonly known as eczema, which can be a bothersome condition due to many triggers that can cause an outbreak of red, itchy rashes. For example, dry weather, household chemicals in shampoo or body wash, and allergens in the air can all cause eczema to flare up.
Mine was due to stress and is called a stress rash.
Likewise, Dr Fizza Imtiaz diagnosed my condition and explained to me clearly that I have to deal with my stress and anxiety first. That is the only way I will get rid of this miserable condition.
Your Doctors Online impressed me with the holistic treatment I received.
First, she guided me on dealing with anxiety and gave detailed information on breathing exercises, diet, and yoga meditation. She also prescribed anti-itching creams and probiotic supplements to treat any possible overgrowth in the gut.
Secondly, she asked me to make a diet chart to rule out any possible food triggers. Lastly, she prescribed daily supplements (to support skin health), vitamin D, omega-3 and advised me to add coconut oil and avocado to my daily diet. Finally, for itching, I started taking Epsom salt baths before bed.
My golden ticket, Your Doctors Online, taught me to manage my stress rash.
My dark and lonely days with this disease have finally started fading. I’ve learned how to manage stress rash and feel a sense of pride for how I’ve handled it.
My life has taken on a new turn. It warms my heart when I go to events and bump into people. Asking an online doctor on Your Doctors Online got me the right help and support from the best consultants, which helped my self-confidence. I am so grateful that now I have the right tool to manage it.
Information regarding a Stress Rash added by our Doctors
Stress can manifest as physical symptoms. However, sometimes continuous stress can leave its mark in the form of a stress rash. These stress rashes are more similar to hives and can appear anywhere on the body surface. Stress rashes commonly appear on the arm, face, and neck. The size of stress rashes may vary from a few centimetres to cover larger skin areas in the form of clusters.
Causes of stress rash
Stress rash is considered a flare-up of skin that is exacerbated by stress. The exact mechanism of the appearance of hives is not known; however, the research suggests an increased cortisol level during stress. This rise in cortisol, in turn, leads to the formation of acne scars, simultaneously increasing the histamine inflammatory response. This histamine causes the appearance of stress rashes. Stress can trigger a flare-up of skin in the form of hives. These hives cause itching and burning sensations as well.
Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema worsen as a result of stress. This situation requires ultimate medical guidance.
Genetics play a role in the appearance of stress rashes in people who have a family history of anxiety.
Symptoms of stress rash
If the emerging hives are due to stress, you may experience such symptoms:
- Itchiness in the affected area
- Blisters on the skin
- Redness and swelling
- Accompanying fever
- Feeling of anxiety, danger, etc.
- Increased sweating as a result of stress.
When to see a doctor?
If the hives caused by stress last for more than six weeks, one should seek medical guidance. Sometimes the burning sensation due to hives is exceptionally uncomfortable. In that case, also it is better to consult a doctor for timely treatment. If the hives carry symptoms of fever, blisters, or pain, rush to the dermatologist at the earliest.
Treatment of stress rash
- Usually, the stress rashes are not to worry about and can be treated by over-the-counter medications like antihistamines that check the inflammatory response of histamine responsible for the skin flare-up. Antihistamines will relieve itching and burning sensations. Commonly used antihistamines include :
- Soaking the affected area with cold water may also reduce itching.
- If the hives last longer than six weeks, they are referred to as chronic hives. The treatment of chronic hives depends upon the underlying condition aggravating them. The doctor may recommend one of the following medications to treat chronic hives:
- Antibiotics like Aczone
- Medications to relieve swelling
Prevention from the stress rash
To avoid stress rashes that develop into hives, one must minimise exposure to stress. Stress may result from financial and marital problems that entirely depend on one’s ability to make a practical roadmap to solve a particular problem. Stress can be minimised by:
- Regular exercise
- Taking a balanced diet
- Enjoying a sound sleep.