101 Anxiety and Itching: Symptoms and Treatment

2 min read

itching
Ananya Bhattacharjee
Writer. Musician. Mother. Reading, music and travelling are all time favourites. Been into ‘writing’ from the last 10 years and have become an everlasting love since I started.

If a person is dealing with anxiety as well as itching, it is highly possible that person either has two different issues or both the anxiety and itch are interrelated. In some cases, anxiety leads to an itchy skin and sometimes itchy skin conditions leads to anxiety. Though each has different treatments and can be treated differently, it is important to check if they are interrelated.

What causes itching with anxiety?

Chronic anxiety can affect a person’s health in many ways Anxiety is related to various skin problems, like mental or emotional stress leads to itching. As the brain continuously communicates with the nerves in the skin, an onset of anxiety gets the body stress response into overdrive. This may affect the nervous system and cause symptoms itching or burning of the skin. The sensation can occur anywhere- on the skin, on the arms, face, legs or scalp. The sensation can be felt intermittently or could be persistent. Sometimes even if anxiety causes itching, skin problems may also develop if the skin is scratched. This will lead to irritated, broken and bleeding skin or even infection. However, scratching won’t relieve the stress; it would worsen the skin condition.

How are itching and anxiety diagnosed?

A person may have two different problems- anxiety and itchy skin caused by something else. On consulting a doctor, causes of itchy skin will be investigated, like

· Skin allergies

·  Dry skin

·  Eczema

·  Insect bites

·  Scabies

·  Shingles

Itchy skin can also be caused by conditions like:

·  Anaemia

·  Lymphoma

·  Diabetes

·  Kidney failure

·  Multiple Sclerosis

·  Thyroid issues

Treatment:

The treatment of anxiety and itching depends on the causes and symptoms of the same. One should consult a specialist or a doctor to cure the issues at the earliest. A mental health professional would be able to understand and treat the anxiety issue. In case of severe itching because of skin issues, it is recommended to consult a dermatologist.

Treatment for the itch includes:

· Soothing creams and ointments

·  Oral Serotonin Inhibitors, a kind of antidepressant that eases chronic itching

·  Therapy sessions for curing itch

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To prevent itch from recurring, one can take the following measures:

· Use fragrance free moisturizer and cream

·  Avoid any kind of rough clothing and hot baths or anything that might alleviate the itchiness.

·  Use calamine lotion and topical anesthetic creams

·  Trim fingernails regularly to avoid scraping the skin if you scratch.

To prevent and reduce stress, one can take the following measures:

·  Try Yoga and meditation

·  Acupuncture

·  Behavior modification therapy to reduce the anxiety

·  Get regular sleep and proper diet

When to see a doctor?

If anxiety and itching occur frequently and are fleeting, one should consult a doctor. If both these start affecting the ability to function and makes one uncomfortable, it is essential to see a doctor as soon as possible.If anxiety and itchiness is left untreated, the cycle of both can aggravate and lead to severe issues. They can heighten the anxiety level and increase the itch. Frequent scratching of the skin may also lead to major skin issues.Anxiety and itching are effectively treatable, with proper medication and treatments. Though it may take some time, but one can learn to manage anxiety and relieve the itch.

Regardless of whether anxiety or itch occurred first, both are interconnected. And with a proper anxiety management session and a proper skincare routine, both can be cured to the best. 

Tips To Take Care

Controlling an anxiety itch might take quite some time and an aggressive and methodical approach. As such, the person should avoid scratching the area as it might lead to further inflammation and degrading symptoms. The rash caused by an anxiety itch should be treated with cooling creams, cold compresses, calamine lotions and or cortisone-led creams. 

Home Remedies

The home remedies to cure an anxiety itch are: 

  • Applying menthol over the area 
  • Cooling the itchy region with an ice pack or wet cloth. 
  • Wet wrap therapy with a soft fabric 
  • Colloidal oatmeal, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant element, can be used
  • Apple cider vinegar can be used as an antiseptic 
  • Regular moisturising 
  • Apply baking soda to the itch for treating any fungal infections
  • Avoid any irritants like irritant fabrics, hot water, fragrance skin products, wool or any other synthetic clothes.