stress rash pictures are a great way to confirm whether your itchy red hives are due to stress or another condition. These rashes often show up on the neck, chest, hands, and arms. However, they can be found anywhere on the body.
They also tend to come and go in waves, triggered by emotional events or by certain foods or medications. These rashes may recur for weeks or months before they disappear once the trigger is identified and managed. If your symptoms persist, you can visit a PlushCare dermatologist for a full medical assessment.
Visual Guide: Stress Rash Pictures and How to Manage Stress-Related Skin Reactions
According to Naomi Jean-Baptiste, MD (AKA, Dr. JB the Metaverse Doc), when you’re stressed, your body releases histamine. This chemical then travels through the small blood vessels in your skin and causes them to enlarge or dilate. This creates a swelling of the skin, resulting in hives.
In addition to releasing histamine, cortisol can cause your mast cells to release inflammatory chemicals that result in itchy skin. This is why people with a history of anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder tend to experience a lot of stress-related itchy rashes.
If you have a stress rash, it’s important to avoid scratching because it can lead to permanent scarring. Instead, you should use over-the-counter antihistamines like Zyrtec or Benadryl to help relieve the itching and soothe your skin. You can also apply a topical cortisone cream to decrease the inflammation that leads to itching. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe a stronger medication to treat severe itching or allergic reactions that do not respond to over-the-counter treatments.