Stress bumps don’t always occur as a direct result of feeling stress. Everyone experiences it to some degree, and more often than not on a daily basis. Some jobs can be quite stressful. The same can be said for some relationships. Driving in heavy traffic during inclement weather can be extremely stressful. If bumps appeared every time you experienced it, you would likely have them every day. Only those who lived the most sedentary of lifestyles might avoid them.
In truth, stress doesn’t always cause bumps to appear on one part of your body or another. Some people will never get them, some will experience them from time to time, and a few, probably a very few, will experience them quite often.
More of a Trigger than a Direct Cause
What happens is that stress normally doesn’t directly cause these bumps to appear, rather it acts as a trigger. Bumps on the skin and skin rashes often go hand-in-hand, and if you are experiencing them when you become overly stressed, you might also experience a skin rash at the same time. Worrying shouldn’t cause you to break out in a bumpy rash, but for some people that can indeed be the case.
One Common Cause – Urticaria
With urticaria, the immune system gets into the act. You may not understand why it acts up when you are feeling stressed, causing a rash and/or bumps on your skin, but no one else really does either. It is a fact that when you are stressed out, your immune system can release histamines that cause them to appear. This suggests that stress can act much the same way some allergens do. It may not necessarily be an allergen, but it can trigger the immune system in much the same way. Just why this can happen is presently unknown. Stress bumps are, therefore, aptly named in the sense that the one can lead to the other. When it does lead to a release of histamines, the condition is known as urticaria. It is a major cause of chronic hives.
A Second Common Cause – A Skin Condition or Disorder
A skin disorder can be another cause. The skin condition known as seborrheic dermatitis is a known cause of both itching and the appearance of pimple-like bumps, most often on the head and scalp. In this case, they would seem to have little if any relationship to stress, but it is a known fact that when some people have this skin condition, it can trigger a flare-up of these irritating little bumps. There are several skin disorders that can cause them, and stress doesn’t act as a trigger in all cases. You are probably aware of the fact, though, that when you are feeling overly stressed, it can sometimes have a negative effect on the health or appearance of your skin.
The answer to how the bumps can be avoided is a simple one, and that is simply to do what you can to avoid stress. This is one of those solutions that on the surface makes sense, but in real life it does not. If you are like most people, you are aware of the fact that avoiding stress is impossible; it is something you only have partial control over. To avoid it entirely, and the bumps it may cause, you could try living in an isolated, hermetically-sealed environment where unpleasant sights, sounds, and events are kept away. Even this environment could be very stressful. Consider spending a few months in the International Space Station; the bumps might start appearing after the first week.
A Practical Way to Manage Stress
Avoiding stress is something you can do to some degree, however, so the situation isn’t totally helpless. One of the better approaches when you begin to feel stressed is to take a deep breath. In fact, take several of them. Breathe in and out slowly and purposefully and focus on the breathing itself. This can be a wonderful stress reducer. Breathe slowly so you don’t hyperventilate. Learning a few breathing exercises such as those emphasized in yoga is good for your health and well-being and can do a lot in keeping stress levels manageable.
Medications Can Help
You can also take medications if the bumps are being caused by a skin disorder. The medication is for the skin disorder and not for the stress, but it can, nevertheless, be helpful. If you want to take medication for the stress itself, it would be best, of course, to consult a doctor. If it is your immune system that seems to be acting up when it shouldn’t be, the best you might be able to do is to take an antihistamine when trouble appears. There are medications for immune system induced stress bumps, better known as hives, that are over-the-counter and can be quite effective. If your problem appears to be chronic, it would be best to see your doctor, since a prescription medication may be necessary.
Treatment can, therefore, often be a dual process. You want to treat the direct cause of the bumps, which could either be histamine or a skin condition, and you want to treat the triggering mechanism, which in this case is stress. You might also want to consider a third approach, and that is making a few lifestyle changes helpful in relieving stress, keeping a skin condition in check, and avoiding some things that tend to get your immune system overly excited.
The power of deep, purposeful, relaxed breathing cannot be overemphasized. Breathing exercises may not eliminate bumps completely, but they should help. In any event, doing those exercises will benefit you in many different ways. If nothing else, you will feel better.