atopic dermatitis

How Stress Affects Atopic Dermatitis

How Stress Affects Atopic Dermatitis

The Connection

Atopic dermatitis or eczema is a bothersome condition because of several triggers that can cause an outbreak of red, itchy rashes. According to experts, one of these triggers is stress. But how is stress linked to eczema?

When we are experiencing a stressful situation, our body responds by increasing the production of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. When the body produces too much cortisol, it suppresses the immune system, causing an inflammatory response in the skin or that red, itchy symptom common to most types of eczema.

According to other research, people with AD have dry skin, due to the reduced amount of filaggrin, or a protein that helps the body maintain a healthy protective barrier on the skin’s top layer. This doesn’t necessarily mean that stress is the actual cause of eczema. It won’t cause eczema to manifest if you have never suffered from it before. But if you do have eczema, your symptoms would worsen when you experience emotional stress.


There are many preventive measures you can take to avoid eczema outbreaks. Reducing stress is one of them. While this would not eliminate your eczema altogether, it will still help reduce your symptoms.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep will definitely help reduce stress. If your symptoms are keeping you up at night, you should consult your doctor if you can take antihistamine to help ease itching.

Meditation and Relaxation

Research suggests that mindful meditation techniques from deep breathing to yoga could help calm you down and reduce stress. One advantage of this method is that it steers you away from using topical steroids and medicine.

Support Group

Look for support groups for eczema in your community. Finding people who have the same problem and have them listen and give you advice would make you feel comfortable and less stressed.

Go Healthy

Your diet can also greatly affect your stress levels. Find out the foods that are good for you and avoid those that could trigger your symptoms. Balance it all out with a little exercise, and try out fun activities. Doing something you like takes your mind off stressful things and would definitely make you feel better.

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