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.