Sleepless nights, panic attacks, irritability. Most of us are familiar with the typical signs of stress - but would you recognize under-the-radar symptoms, too? Watch out for these secretive signs you're stressed

By Jackie Middleton

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Itchy skin

A 2012 poll of by the British Association of Dermatologists found that doctors were blaming recent economic stresses for the increase in patients suffering from itchy skin conditions. When our bodies release histamine during stressful situations, our skin often reacts with the appearance of itchy hives. Eczema, psoriasis and other chronic skin conditions can flare when stress runs high, too.

The fix: Dr. Jonathan Kerr, a Belleville, Ontario family physician, discourages itchy skin sufferers from treating this problem on their own. Over-the-counter preparations can be too weak to adequately deal with serious skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. “[These ailments] are treated differently, so consult with your doctor to find the best cream for you,” he says. Less serious irritations such as hives often respond to an antihistamine and cream combination. Your doctor can suggest the best products for you.

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