Can Stress Cause a Skin Rash?

Anyone else have this problem? I colored my hair and shortly after developed spots on my head that itch really badly. My hair dresser said they look like pimples. This is not the first time I've used this product and my head has itched afterwards, but I have never gotten these spots.


Fast forward about a month later and I developed a rash on both my arms from the elbow to my wrists. Doctor doesn't think the two are related. As to the rash on my arms it started when I was visiting a friend in Dallas. Where I live is dry and that weekend in Dallas was extremely hot and humid.

The doctor prescribed triamcinole acetonid lotion 1% which isn't helping much and doesn't control the itch any more than hydrocortisone or aloe vera gel. My doctor said I was the second woman in her office that day with the rash on both her arms like mine. She didn't know the cause. Taking Benadryl tablets controls the itching for a couple hours.

I don't think the rash on my arms is coming from my home because it started when I was in Dallas. I'm currently under a lot of stress and wondering if this could be the cause. I take "no" medications and my blood pressure is good. Your thoughts and/or suggestions as this is driving me crazy.


By Betty

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October 6, 20100 found this helpful

Could your rash be hives? Do a Google image search for "hives" and compare the results to what you have. Hives can be stress-induced. Your story reminds me of something that happened to me a few years ago, and it was stress-induced. I got the worst case of mouth ulcers you can imagine during a time when I was under a lot of stress and took my first trip to Minnesota (from Dallas) to meet my husband's family for the first time. The ulcers were so bad it hurt to eat or talk! I think the combination of the stress and the traveling, plus different climate and water and unusual food were the cause of my ulcers.

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October 9, 20100 found this helpful

I think that stress can certainly cause a rash, or make it worse. However, once you've got it, it can be dealt with just the same as if it was caused by an allergen, I think. Go back to the doctor and get your medication adjusted.


My children have had odd measles-like rashes that lasted a week or two and then went away. Alternately, one had some sort of exotic rash that we went to see a specialist about, and was treated by him. If you don't go back to the doctor, she will think you are satisfied with the medication.

I agree with your doctor about the hair dye and pimples on your head not being related to this rash. However, you should not be using that brand of hair dye again. Your head should not itch after using the product. When you use a new product, you should do a test to see if you get a reaction from it, and if you do, Don't use it either. If you read your instructions, you will see that you are supposed to do a test for reactions before every dye job!

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