What to do about an itch caused by anxiety?

Anxiety can do many things, not just to your emotional and mental state but also to your physical body. Itchiness is just another symptom of anxiety which has the potential to add even more discomfort to an already unpleasant condition.

What to do about an itch caused by anxietyWe have all had an itch that we just had to scratch, but constantly feeling the urge to scratch can wreak havoc in your professional and social life. Not only will you feel self conscious being around people and constantly scratching but you may even do damage to your skin. Bright red scratch marks over your face, back or legs can make you feel ashamed and want to avoid the company of others, and if this behavior continues over a long period of time you may even end up with permanent scars.

There are certain life threatening conditions that can cause you to itch more than you should so it is always wise to report any strange new symptom to your doctor first. The sad truth is that anxiety can mimic many of the symptoms of serious illnesses and so add to your already worried state of mind.

You can of course treat all the unpleasant symptoms of anxiety each on its own, but unless you address the real problem which is your anxiety these symptoms will only resurface during the next attack. There are many ways of treating anxiety so if you have found one method that does not necessarily work for you, don’t give up. We are all different and therefore what works for one person may not necessarily work for you. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a very effective treatment option that helps you to gain new perspective on your own identity and your circumstances.

Relieving stress may further help you to reclaim a relaxed state of mind. Avoiding stress is however not possible so learning new stress coping techniques may be more beneficial. Breathing exercises can be very helpful, both while you are confronted with an anxiety attack or even just relaxing at home.

There are also many natural ways to deal with an itchy body caused by anxiety. You can relax in a cool baking soda bath or even add oatmeal to your bath water to ease the itching. Having a naturally dry skin can worsen the itch associated with anxiety so rather choose mild soaps and moisturize your skin after taking a bath. Evening primrose oil may help to sooth the itching so choose lotions containing it as the main ingredient.

If you wake up in the mornings and realize that you have been scratching yourself in your sleep, try covering the scratched areas with bandages while you sleep at night. By doing this and keeping your fingernails short you can limit the damage to your skin caused by scratching. It may take time to get over your anxiety but don’t give up, many have overcome anxiety and so can you. If you are losing patience with your itch-scratch cycle try to learn an alternative way of relieving the itch like rubbing your skin instead of scratching it.

There are many frustrations along the road to dealing with anxiety but with a bit of patience you will not only have defeated anxiety but also the horrible symptoms that come with it.

References:

“Evening Primrose Oil.” National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012. NCCAM.NIH.gov. (October 9, 2012). http://nccam.nih.gov/health/eveningprimrose

“Pruritis”. New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. 2012. Dermnetnz.org (October 9, 2012). http://dermnetnz.org/systemic/itch.html

“Neurodermatitis.” Mayo Clinic. [No date]. Mayoclinic.com. (October 9, 2012) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/neurodermatitis/DS00712/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies

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