Anxiety And Itching - 5 Best Ways To Cope


If you suffer from anxiety, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking it’s an issue which begins and ends between your ears. 

It’s your mind, right? That big overthinking organ inside your head is what’s responsible for, and most affected by, anxiety. 

But actually, this all consuming emotion can have untold physical repercussions throughout the body, which you may or may not have realised were linked. 

Namely - anxiety and itching. Seems like an unlikely match, but actually, it’s far more common and widespread amongst adults than you think. 

Anxiety-induced itch can be caused by anxiety directly, or indirectly through a skin condition that the presence of anxiety flares up and worsens. 

What then usually occurs is an unfortunate downward spiral that can be difficult to escape from. You’re anxious, so you itch, which makes you more anxious, which makes you more itchy. And so on (and so on and so on).

We’re here to say - we see you. And we want to try our best to help you break the cycle. 

In the article below, you’ll learn: 

1) The symptoms of anxiety

2) Why it might cause itching

3) How anxiety itching is diagnosed

4) Can itching cause anxiety?

5) 5 top tips for a simple home treatment plan 

So, what are the symptoms of anxiety? 

As you can imagine, the list is pretty long here. We handpicked a few which you might currently be experiencing:

- Feeling irritable

- Racing thoughts 

- Difficulty concentrating

- Feelings of dread or panic

- Changes in appetite

- Disassociation

- Feeling like other people can see you’re anxious and are looking at you

- Worrying that you’re losing touch with reality

- Over thinking a situation again and again

- Insomnia

Clearly these are all symptoms which impact the mind. When it comes to the body although there are many symptoms besides itching, like faster breathing or headaches, for the purposes of this post we’ll stick primarily to the former. 

Why might anxiety cause itching? 

When we look at the issue of anxiety itching, we can break it down into people who suffer, or don’t, from skin conditions. 

In people with skin conditions

If you suffer from a skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis, it’s most likely that your itchy skin is caused by this in the first place. 

In such instances anxiety then plays the role of exacerbating your symptoms, or as the trigger for a flare up in the first place.  

So even though anxiety may not have been the root cause, it perpetuates the feeling of itchiness by trapping you in a cycle of itch-scratch-stress that feeds off each other. 

In people without skin conditions

Even if you don’t suffer from a related skin condition as mentioned above, anxiety and stress still have the ability to trigger itchiness. 

Your brain is always communicating with nerve endings in your skin and when anxiety kicks in, your body’s stress response can go into overdrive. This can then have a knock on effect onto your nervous system and trigger symptoms such as itching or burning of the skin. 

Unsurprisingly, it’s possible to feel these sensations anywhere on the body, but places like your arms or scalp are usually the most common. 

How is anxiety itching diagnosed? 

When it comes to diagnosis, clearly you need to see a medical professional to get expert advice. 

It’s possible you may have two unrelated problems all together - anxiety (caused by stress at work or your annoying in-laws) and itchy skin, triggered by an allergy or skin condition. 

Some of the causes of itchy skin outside anxiety can be:

- Eczema

- Allergies

- Psoriasis

- Dry skin

- Shingles

- Kidney failure

However if you’ve made it this far in the article, hopefully you’re able to see that even if they appear ‘unrelated’ there’s likely an invisible link tethering the two together. 

1 important point - when you see the doctor, it’s very important they’re aware of your previous medical history as this will help guide an accurate diagnosis. If you’ve suffered from mental health problems in the past or any other condition, they need to know. 

Can itching cause anxiety? 

Ok we know, this is getting confusing. But let’s just flip reverse it for a second and look at it from the other angle. 

And of course the answer is yes: itching in itself can lead to emotional distress. 

If it’s linked to eczema or psoriasis, then this alone might be a huge cause of stress or anxiety for those suffering. Not wanting to be seen because of how your skin looks is common and difficult to deal with, and can in itself lead to mental health issues. 

The bottom line: stress and your skin are intrinsically linked - whichever way you want to look at it. 

5 top tips for a simple home treatment plan

1) Stop the itch! 

We know we know, this is far easier said than done and heck, it’s not like you’ve not been trying! But luckily our very own plant-based calming spray is what you’ve been missing. 

Enriched with a blend of 3 traditional Chinese herbs used for 1000’s of years in Asian medicine, our unique formula is especially designed to combat itchiness and nourish dry skin through deeply hydrating and repairing the skin barrier. 

The best bit - it’s steroid, paraben and sulphate free, so great for all you eczema sufferers :)

2) Moisturise daily 

You should be thinking hypo-allergenic and fragrance free, and you should be slathering it on at least 2 times a day. This helps create a barrier over your skin to lock hydration in, and keep irritants out. 

3) Use a humidifier 

If you suffer from dry skin in winter, your central heating might be contributing to your problems by drying out the air inside your home. A humidifier is a great way to put moisture back into the air and keep your skin moist. 

4) Meditation and mindfulness

The barrier to entry can seem high here, like what even is mindfulness? But trust us, if you’re willing to invest the time and energy in learning more, the pay off can be life changing. 

Realising you don’t have to react to or follow negative thoughts, and that being present can help overcome old negative emotional patterns, is liberating. 

Jump over to our social channels @yanyeeskincare to learn more. 

5) Massage and acupuncture 

Great for relieving tension in the body, the knock on effect can also impact the mind and help relieve pent up stress or frustration. 

Final thoughts 

Anxiety, stress, itching, your body - they’re all closely linked and play a vital part in the development of each other. 

We hope our advice and pointers have been of some use and you can begin to take back control of not only your skin, but also your life. 

How did we do? Jump over to our Twitter page and let us know! 

With care, 

The yan-yee team 


- Everything you need to know about anxiety. (2016). Link

- Anxiety and panic attacks. (n.d.). Link

- What to know about anxiety and itching. (2020). Link

- Sanders KM, et al. (2018). The vicious cycle of itch and anxiety. Link

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