Is Eczema Flare Ups Caused by Stress?

stress, relaxation, eczema

Stress is the root of nearly all of our health problems—no doubt about it. How you manage (or don’t manage) your stress can have a profound impact on your health. Stress, on the other hand, is notoriously difficult to quantify. It’s not possible to measure stress in the same way that we monitor diabetes or blood pressure.

Even though anxiety and stress aren’t the main causes of eczema, they can certainly aggravate the symptoms.

When the body is under stress, it produces a hormone known as cortisol. As a result of long-term or severe stress, excessive cortisol production can lead to an inflammatory reaction in the skin. Dyshidrotic eczema is a specific type of eczema that often presents as tiny, painful blisters on the feet and hands. Stress is a major contributor to dyshidrotic eczema flare-ups and remissions.

According to Tim Jewell and Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, CNE, COI of Healthline, stress causes a spike in the hormone, cortisol, and this excess of cortisol leads to abnormally oily skin, which can ultimately cause an eczema outbreak. To make things even worse, according to Jewell and Sullivan, stress can also extend the life of an eczema outbreak, leaving you more stressed.

Knowing all of this, what can you do to prevent stress?

Relaxation Techniques

Below are just some relaxation techniques that are parent and kid-friendly! Different people relax differently, so it might take some trial and error. If reading stresses you out, put the book down, and try something else! If your little one doesn’t enjoy the visualization, put on some relaxing music and take a few moments to stretch.

  • Deep breathing – try box breathing or simply taking multiple slow and intentional deep breaths
  • Coloring – this can be useful for you or your little one!
  • Walking – 30 minutes of brisk walking in the sunshine
  • Reading – take yourself out of your thoughts and pick up a good book
  • Visualization – take a visual journey to your happy place
  • Laugh – tell jokes, make silly faces, watch a funny cartoon
  • Stretch – take a few minutes to stretch and focus on your breath
  • Music – listen to calm music and let it take you away


Exercise causes you to release endorphins. Endorphins are the hormones that are responsible for the happiness and sense of well-being that is brought on by physical activity.


One of the most important aspects of stress reduction is maintaining a diet that is both nutritious and well-balanced, full of foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. This guarantees that you are getting an adequate amount of nutrients so that your body can release those hormones that make you feel happy.


Getting enough sleep is another tried-and-true method that can assist in managing your stress levels. Each of us needs a specific amount to feel refreshed after a night’s sleep. Some people require a minimum of 8 hours of sleep per night, while others may function normally after having slept for only 5 hours. The quality of your sleep has a significant impact.


Finally, don’t keep your emotions to yourself. Some people have a high degree of stress, either because of their profession or because they are going through a difficult time in their personal lives. Even if they aren’t outwardly showing signs of stress, it’s there.

Those are the times when eczema flares up. That’s why finding a way to relieve your tension is so important. It doesn’t matter if you like to talk to a buddy (whether it’s a sibling or a therapist), or if you prefer exercising, reading, or listening to music, there are many ways to relieve stress. Your eczema will thank you for it in the future.



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