Anxiety Rash (A Complete Guide)

Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders of current times. It can cause many side effects and problems for you if the issue is not addressed on time.

Anxiety manifests itself in many ways and some of them can be physically manifested.

One of the side effects or consequences can be in the form of anxiety rash. We’ll discuss anxiety rash thoroughly in the article. 

Anxiety rash is manifested in the form of little red spots or hives. These can be really small or take up space on your body.

These are red and blotchy. At times, these blotchy spots together make welt and swellings.

Itching and burning on these welts are common while you touch them.

This natural reaction of the body towards anxiety is its manifestation through anxiety rash. Other symptoms can also be seen in an anxiety rash. 


In these advanced times when anxiety has become a household name.

People still need to understand that anxiety is controllable, perhaps you won’t get rid of it completely but some symptoms will definitely get better if you take some precautionary measures.

First of all, people need to understand the disorder itself and its symptoms. Every one of us feels restless at times and a certain amount of tension and anxiety is probably necessary for us to go on in many conditions.

Tension is also a type of defense mechanism but generalized tension and feeling of uneasiness all the time can be a symptom of anxiety.

Symptoms of anxiety include the following:

  • Palpitation 
  • Quick relaxing 
  • Sweaty palms 
  • Butterflies in your stomach 
  • ‘detonation’ of energy

However, it is different from a panic attack and before self diagnosing yourself, you should always consult a health care provider for accurate diagnosis and differential diagnosis.

What is Anxiety Rash?

Anxiety disorder manifests itself in many ways and anxiety rash is probably the least common way of its manifestation.

Even then, you can see anxiety manifestation in the form of a rash on your skin.

Anxiety is a mental health condition so people don’t think that it will manifest itself physically.

However, it is reality and skin rash is one of the physiological side effects of anxiety.

It can occur at any age and with different frequency and it might get out in the form of exacerbation of an already present skin condition or even without any pre existing issue.

Most of the time, a rash caused by anxiety is a reaction to your body’s immune system tackling anxious beliefs.

However, it is not necessary for everyone who is suffering from anxiety to develop anxiety rash because everyone’s body reacts differently to problems. 

Our body is a fascinating work of nature and it has its own systems.

When you have anxiety building up in your body, your immune system rushes to release you from anxious thoughts.

Immune system releases histamines in order to fight the negative thoughts and anxiety but histamine is of no use when it comes to anxiety.

Therefore, the body responds in the form of a rash as a response to histamine accumulation in your body. 

How does anxiety rash appear on the body?

It often appears in the form of hives and it can appear on any part of the body.

These can either be really small or take up space on your body. These are usually red and blotchy and they can also create bigger welts if not treated on time.

The anxiety rash often burns or itches when you touch it.

A common anxiety rash generally goes away within twenty four hours but new rashes can also arise when old rashes disappear.

If you don’t get your anxiety and negative thoughts under control you are likely to get new rashes more often.

How to differentiate anxiety rash from other rashes?

Anxiety rash is not much different than any other rash but you can look for other psychological indicators which will differentiate anxiety rash from other rashes.

Some of the following should be to look for if you are trying to differentiate anxiety rash from any other rash. 

  • Anxiety rash is accompanied by a number of psychological symptoms.
  • It appears similar to heat rash. 
  • It might affect one part of your skin.
  • It can be a raised bump.
  • It is often itchy.
  • Sometimes it is accompanied by dry mouth.
  • Sensations of pins and needles are also reported in some cases.
  • Excessive sweating along with anxiety rash is also common.

Nothing can be said for sure about the difference between an anxiety rash and any other rash.

If you are not able to figure the difference out then you should definitely go to your health care provider.

The rash can also be a result of a lotion you are wearing or an allergic reaction to one of the medicines you are taking.

The best thing to do is to rule out every other cause of rash like lotion or allergies, only then you can know if it is anxiety rash.

Moreover, try to manage your anxiety and if the rash disappears with the management of anxiety then it is an anxiety rash.

Every person’s body acts differently in response to anxiety so every case should be dealt differently.

Causes of Anxiety Rash

The simplest explanation for the anxiety rash would be it is caused by anxiety, nothing more nothing less.

However, there are some other ways which explain the rash deeply and give you a better understanding of anxiety.

Some of those explanations are given below.

  1. Immune System Response

As explained earlier, the easiest way to understand anxiety rash is to consider it as a reaction of the immune system of your body against negative and anxious thoughts.

Human body rushes towards negative thoughts in order to reduce the effects and stop the thoughts from damaging the vital organs and saving yourself from more harm.

  1. Cortisol

Stress and anxiety makes your body tensed and your body releases a few hormones to combat that tension.

Human body produces a hormone name ‘cortisol’ and adrenaline which is also known as stress hormones.

These hormones are usually secreted directly into the bloodstream. These are usually secreted during fight and flight situations to make your body ready to respond to dangerous situations.

However, it is a lesser panned out theory and cortisol and adrenaline is released in stress rather than anxiety.

These hormones can also be secreted with prolonged stress which could be one of the causes of your anxiety rash which can in turn cause rashes and hives known as anxiety rash.

If these rashes are not treated properly then these can convert into serious skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, eczema or even herpes.

These conditions are not directly caused by stress but it definitely plays a role. 

  1. Histamines

All of these causes are somewhat interlinked because cortisol production is then responded by the release of histamines.

Rise in the levels of cortisol leads to the release of histamine in a bid to fight anxiety.

Histamine cannot alleviate anxiety but the body has to respond in certain ways to the large amounts of histamine.

Therefore, the body responds to histamine building in your body by producing rash or hives commonly known as anxiety rash. 

  • Effects of Anxiety Rash

Anything related to your skin can directly affect your self-esteem. Even though anxiety rashes are smaller and only cover a smaller portion of your skin, they can still be annoying.

Anxiety rash is not exempted from these impacts and affects the person on multiple levels.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common effects of anxiety rash.

  • Physiological Effects

These rashes are not deadly or life threatening but they can be inconvenient and embarrassing for most of the people.

You can feel uncomfortable, itchy or warm and it burns sometimes. It can last for minutes to days and months.

If you see a rash on your arm, leg or anywhere on your skin, don’t forget that thousands of people got these and these could be easily treated.

  • Emotional Effects
  • Anything related to your skin can directly affect your self-esteem. 
  • If you are working at a position where you have to publicly deal with many people, an anxiety rash can be embarrassing.
  •  An anxiety rash can also exacerbate the situation if it is spontaneous and you are already feeling anxious, this can only worsen the situation. 
  • Moreover, if you have a physical symptom anxiety, it becomes harder to overcome the psychological issues. 
  • It can affect your confidence and self-esteem. 
  • You get worried about hiding the blotchy red spots. 
  • Prolonged anxiety rash can affect your mental health in the long run.  

Treatment for Anxiety Rash

It is usually not necessary to see a doctor if it is not worse.

However, it is recommended to see your general practitioner or health care provider if the anxiety rash is persistent or getting worse before going for self-medication.

If you have prolonged anxiety rash then you should definitely go see a doctor and let him decide what the best possible way to treat your anxiety rash is.

Moreover, only a doctor can give you a reliable differential diagnosis of anxiety rash.

However, some of the recommended treatments and home remedies for anxiety rash are given below.

You can also use these remedies if you have nothing better to do. 

  • According to doctors, the best way to reduce anxiety rash or any skin condition is to take antihistamines which reduces itching and pain and in turn the rash is controlled. 
  • Applying cold compresses to skin will also help you reduce itching.
  • Wear loose-fitted clothes
  • Exercise less or avoid exercises which cause excessive perspiration and cause irritation on skin.
  • Home Remedies

Natural ingredients can also be used for controlling the rash for people who are not fan of taking more medicines.

However, the most important thing is that you should manage your anxiety and negative thoughts if you want to get rid of the anxiety rash once and for all. 

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

What we recommend for curbing Anxiety

Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety

Online Therapy

  • Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.

Anxiety Weighted Blankets

  • Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.

Light Therapy

  • Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night.  An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.

FAQs about Anxiety Rash

Does everyone suffering from anxiety get anxiety rash?

No, every person’s body responds differently.

Do I have to see a doctor after getting any rash?

No, if only it is worse or doesn’t go away for a longer period of time.

Can I manage anxiety rash by managing anxiety?

Yes, it is a manifestation of anxiety and goes away by managing anxiety.