Stress Rash: Early Signs, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Stress Rash

Stress Rash: Early Signs, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Nov 01, 2022

Research shows more than 60% of Americans suffer from stress rash. This word is a combination of stress which relates to emotions while the rash word indicates a skin problem. 

But the question is how any emotional tension can create skin rashes. If it's true, how do we know that these little discolored bumps are because of stress? Well, there are many questions related to this term in your mind right now. We are here to answer all your questions related to rashes caused due to stress. 

Get ready to dive into the most common problem seen in men, women, and children. Read the post to know the early signs, diagnosis, and treatment of this problem. 

What Is Stress Rash?

Stress Rash

Stress rash is the rashes on the skin caused by anxiety, stress, and emotional disorder. You may notice light-red bumps on your skin which cause itchiness. When the reaction increases, it turns into hives, also known as Urticaria. With time, this problem increases and spreads to different parts of the body.

  • A light red color bumps on the skin.

  • Rashes turn into hives when the infection spreads.

  • Generally fades after 24 hours.

What Does Rash Caused By Stress Look Like?

You may ask, what does stress rash look like?

The answer depends on your skin type and rashes caused by other infections. These are the patches on the skin. When it turns into hives, these rashes feel warmer at the touch.

  • On brown and dark skin, rashes appear as a raised bump, which is visible. 

  • The color of these bumps is light pink or even darker, which matches the skin tone.

  • In pale or white skin, rashes appear as a combination of light red and pink color.

  • It's harder to tell the exact color of these skin bumps. You may notice discoloration, which changes with different temperatures. 

What Is The Reason Behind Getting Stress Rashes?

People suffer from various skin problems which look like rashes. Do you think every rash is due to stress?

The answer is NO! 

In our childhood, even a small infection causes such rashes on the skin. Even a tiny mosquito bite results in little bumps, which cause itchiness. Understanding the main causes of stress rash on neck, arm, leg, and other body parts is essential.

The main reasons for getting rashes are illness, infections, and food allergies.

Here are the common causes of getting rashes due to stress:

  • Daily stress, anxiety, and mental disorder.

  • Past life events.

  • New job challenges.

  • Sudden changes in diet

  • Poor sleeping schedule

  • Death of your loved one.

  • Changes in life due to marriage and college life.

  • Bipolar disorder

What Are The Early Signs Of Stress Rashes?

You see the main causes of rashes on the different body parts above. There are other common signs as well, like getting anxious from time to time. An irritating feeling throughout the day. Anyone can suffer from stress in life, but getting rashes on the skin due to stress shows other signs.

Following are the early signs of getting stress rashes:

Acne On Face

It is a common sign of stress rash on face. During the early days, you may notice acne problems. In the face rashes, changes in hormones cause face pimples. Although, there could be other reasons as well behind it.

Itchiness Feeling

One of the early signs of getting stress rashes is the feeling of itchiness. You can feel the burning sensation on affected parts of the body. It is vital to notice this little symptom in the beginning.

Swollen Bumps

The swollen bumps, which are reddish, consider early signs of stress rash. In this condition, the skin starts swelling in different areas. You can notice a stress rash on leg in the beginning. With time, swelling increases which creates problems during walking.

Bad Immune System

A bad immune system is an early sign of stress rash on chest. Whenever your immune system doesn't work well; it brings various health problems. It is due to the allergic reaction to the medicine, insect bite, and food. As a result, you notice a skin bump on the chest and other body parts.

Loss Of Hair

Everyone's dream is to have lifelong thick and shiny hair. When hair loss happens, it brings out problems like stress rashes. If your hair falls, then it can be an early sign of hives due to stress. In such conditions, you need proper treatment and remedies.

How Long Does A Stress Rash Last?

Stress rashes are a serious problem and need instant attention. It causes serious problems like difficulty breathing and throat swelling. In such a condition, you should contact a doctor as soon as possible.

Rashes' best part is that they go away in a few days. But, due to changes in hormones, there are huge chances of getting it back. When the infection increase, bumps can last even longer. On average, the swelling rashes of stress stay for six weeks to one month. 

When you scratch these rashes, it results in bacteria which worsen the conditions. On an urgent basis, you can use ice cubes and water to get relief. When the rashes stay longer than months, it is a sign of infection. We recommend you visit a skin specialist on an urgent basis. 

How To Treat Stress Rashes?

As we mentioned above, rashes due to stress usually go away with time. But in some situations like eczema stress rash needs proper treatment. You can use homemade remedies (which we discuss later) to treat skin rashes. First of all, let's see the different ways which control rashes on time:


It is the preferred way to treat rashes caused by stress. The process is beneficial in ending the feeling of itchiness. For home use, you can use prescribed antihistamines. Doctors recommend over-the-counter available for sale from a medical point of view.

Your doctor may recommend a duration of the course which includes:

  • Steroids

  • Various antibiotic tablets

  • Strong antihistamines

These antihistamines are further divided into two parts: Topical and oral. If the severity of your rashes is more, then topicals are not enough to give relief. Various oral antihistamines like Claritin, Benadryl, and Zyrtec bring comfort.

Take Care Of Your Skin

When the hives cause problems like skin burning, proper skin care can bring instant relief. Use the doctor-prescribed skin lotion, cream, and antibacterial powder. Moreover, you should also avoid getting in touch with hot objects. 

Take care of your skin from direct sunlight. Whenever you get in contact with hot temperatures, it causes more irritation in bumps. As a result, there are chances of getting more rashes on the skin.

To avoid skin-burning situation, you should:

  • Stay indoors on sunny days.

  • Wear loose-fitting clothes.

  • Avoid hot water.

  • Use cold compresses

  • Apply ice cubes on hives from time to time.

Use Stress Management techniques

The main cause of getting a stress rash is the stress level. People who think too much have more probability of getting hives. The easiest way to end it is to use stress management techniques. 

Here are the ways which help in reduces your stress level:

  • Do breathing exercises

  • Spend time with nature daily.

  • Talk with your friend, family, or someone you trust.

  • Take a break from work.

  • Travel to new places.

Our Tip For Managing Stress Level

The only way to cope with stress rashes is to share your thoughts with others. We understand it's never easy to deal with every situation. You may have stress due to your professional or personal life. It only worsens when you don't share your thoughts with others.

  • Choose the thought that bothers you- "ONE THOUGHT" every day.

  • Make a list of people whom you trust most.

  • Now choose the person with whom you are most comfortable.

  • Ask the person to spare 15 minutes and sit beside you. Now, share that particular thought with them.

  • Finally, ask them their point of view about your thought or problem. Take the key points or suggestions and connect them with your thought.

  • Repeat the process with different people every day. You will see the results in a few months. 

Underrated Home Remedies To Treat Stress Rash

Plenty of homemade remedies prove beneficial in treating rashes due to stress. Every remedy mentioned below is easy to apply and involves little or no cost. Roll your sleeves and get ready to defeat itchy rashes with these remedies:

  • Take a regular soothing milk bath.

  • Place the cool compress on the bumps.

  • Limit your caffeine and alcohol levels.

  • Drink more glasses of water.

  • Apply the herbal skin lotion.

  • Eat a balanced diet.

  • Improve your sleeping schedule.

  • Do stress-relieving therapy.

  • Limit social media consumption.

Is Stress Rashes Look Like Bug Bites?

There is a similarity between stress rashes and bug bites. Both of them are reddish in color and cause itchiness. Yet, the hive is irregular in shape and results in larger patches. When you scratch rashes due to stress, it results in bacterial infection.

The worst rashes result in large fluffy patches on the skin, which is different from a bug bite. Moreover, bug bites can go away in 1-2 days, while stress rashes can take months.

Following are the body parts which affects the most by stress rash:

  • Face

  • Arms

  • Legs

  • Neck

  • Hands

  • Back

  • Toes 

When To Seek A Dermatologist?

With time a simple rash can take a heinous form. It creates a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Such infection needs special treatment. If your hives turn into a bacterial infection, then contact the dermatologist.

Apart from infection, other symptoms like dizziness is a signs of a serious problem. In such a case, seek an emergency appointment with a dermatologist. 


Stress rash is a common skin problem that can affect anyone. The main cause behind getting these skin bumps are anxiety, stress, and body changes. These rashes seem normal but later become bacterial infections. There are medical and homemade remedies that you can use to treat these rashes. 

To get instant relief from itchiness, use antihistamines. Usually, the rashes due to stress go away in a few days or weeks. When it stays for months, it results in serious skin problems. A condition like dizziness is a sign to seek a dermatologist. Consult the experts before starting any skin treatment. We hope you find this health post on stress rashes valuable. Skin problems like rashes need to treat on time.

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It's time to "EMBRACE YOUR LIFE." 


Can Emotional Stress Cause Rashes In The Body?

There are huge chances of getting stress rashes due to emotional stress. When there is the pressure of emotions on the brain, it results in skin disorders. Some rashes caused by stress go away with time. At the same time, long-time rashes turn into bacterial infections.

What Are The Different Skin Problems Caused By Stress?

Various skin-related problems caused by stress are as follows:

  • Hives

  • Eczema

  • Acne

  • Rosacea

  • Psoriasis

  • Vitiligo

  • Dermatitis

How Long Do Stress Rashes Last?

The rashes due to stress usually disappear in a few days or weeks. If they stay longer, such rashes are chronic. These rashes won't disappear even after months.

What Is The Best Way To Treat Skin Rashes Due To Stress?

The best medical way to treat skin rashes due to stress is Antihistamines. It helps in relieving the problems like skin inflammation and itching. Other proven ways to treat skin rash are exercising and wearing loose clothes.

What Do Stress Rashes Look Like?

Rashes from stress can appear on different parts of the body. They look somewhat like a bug bite. These rashes are reddish or pink, depending on skin complexity. Bumps appear of different shape, which changes from time to time.

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