How does stress factor in eczema?

Anyone with a job, family and other responsibilities are no strangers to stress. It’s as common as the flu. With daily deadlines and dramas, that nagging feeling of worry is the norm.

Stress has physical, mental, and emotional signs such as impaired concentration and excess worries. Apart from the unpleasant feelings, stress can also manifest physically. Most external reactions include muscle tension, racing heart rates, trembling, and sweating. Internally, stress suppresses immune responses and triggers hormone releases.

It may also result in flare-ups in people with eczema


Stress and Other Anxieties: The Connection with Eczema

Eczema is a problematic skin condition; it’s not dangerous, but living with it can be annoying. The inflammation makes the already stressful daily life even more uncomfortable.

Studies have shown that emotional stress, such as high-conflict relationships and careers, may lead to flare-ups. Anxiety is the top trigger of stress; anyone with too much to worry about is more prone to eczema. 

Controlling Stress Levels = Controlling Eczema?

While stress does not directly cause eczema, people are most likely to suffer from flare-ups when stressed. Controlling your anxiety is unlikely to make eczema completely go away, but it may decrease some of the symptoms. 

It starts with relaxation. Life doesn’t revolve around just work and stress; your physical and mental health thrives on rest. If possible, cut out anything that triggers stress. Relaxation strategies are helpful in overcoming stress. Try tensing one muscle at a time for 10 seconds, beginning with the left foot and working your way up. 

Exercise is also important. Studies show that people who exercise regularly have reduced anxiety compared to those who don’t. Also, exercise appears to encourage hormones and neurotransmitters, which dramatically improve your mood. 

Treating Your Eczema

Once you’ve got the stress covered, it’s time to focus on your flare-ups. Dermatologists would recommend anti-inflammatory medications and ointments, such as Mometasone furoate (Elica®), to relieve the itching. 

Long baths may help relax and hydrate your skin at the same time.  Be sure to avoid hot water and harsh soap/cleansers.  Use lukewarm water and mild skin cleansers instead.

Stress is a part of everyday living; there’s no escaping its presence or side effects. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t steer clear of the mini panic attacks of eczema flare-ups. Start by looking at your symptoms and devising a long-term strategy to keep yourself happy, relaxed, and, hopefully, with clearer skin.


If symptoms persists, consult your doctor.

ASC Reference No.: B096P021821ES