7 Surprising Signs You're Way Too Stressed
"In adults, stress is one of the most common causes of hives," says John F. Romano, MD, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City. Experts think that anxiety sets off a cascade of immunological events that can lead to the release of a compound called histamine, which causes hives. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell if they're caused by an allergic reaction or anxiety, says Dr. Romano.
Nix It: Talk to your doctor about whether you should take an antihistamine at the first sign of hives or an anti-anxiety medication during stressful periods as a preventive measure. Biofeedback sessions can also stop the immune-system response that triggers anxiety-related hives. Otherwise, Dr. Romano recommends taking an oral antihistamine and applying a topical anesthetic or anti-itch cream to relieve discomfort. Applying cool compresses and taking oatmeal baths can also soothe the itching until the hives clear up.
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