Why Is My Skin Sensitive To Touch?

Why Is My Skin Sensitive To Touch?

Have you ever experienced skin pain or noticed that your skin is sensitive to the touch all of a sudden? If so, there could be a number of conditions that your skin may be experiencing. KENZZI is here to help you find out where this skin sensitivity may be coming from, and how you can help your skin feel better.  

Whether you spent the weekend out in the sun, or are dealing with an itchy rash, there are many reasons why your skin can be feeling sensitive. Let’s explore some of the symptoms you may be experiencing and find out what is causing your skin sensitivity.  

My Skin Hurts, but There Is No Rash Visible

Tender skin or skin that is sensitive to the touch can be tricky to diagnose. Once you know the cause of the pain, there are several home remedies to try. However, if your skin hurts and you’re not sure why, it’s always a good idea to contact your PCP or dermatologist. 

First and foremost, if your skin is sensitive to the touch, there is a good chance you are already feeling some slight pain or discomfort. Problems with the skin can oftentimes uncover an even deeper underlying health issue. 

If your skin is sensitive to touch, then there could also be a number of other symptoms occurring. Skin symptoms that you may also be experiencing might include:

Skin sensitivity is something that you should not ignore. Finding out the root of the cause is key, and seeking medical attention and treatment may be necessary.

Underlying Health Conditions

Let’s break down the underlying health conditions related to skin being sensitive to the touch so that you can determine the next steps to take for your skin. 

Allodynia

If your skin is extremely sensitive to the point where just a light graze or a touch of your hairbrush to your skin causes pain, you may be experiencing allodynia. People with allodynia are extremely sensitive to touch, and daily activities that are not normally painful can cause severe pain. For example, if rubbing or touching your skin gives you pain, there’s a possibility that you could be experiencing allodynia.

Now you might be thinking, where does allodynia come from? Allodynia can be caused by many underlying conditions such as fibromyalgia, nerve conditions, migraines, or past trauma. 

Symptoms can include burning or tightness, and can range from being mild to very drastic, which is why scheduling an appointment with your PCP may be a good idea, especially if your skin hurts to touch.

Here are some of those possible underlying conditions explained, so that you can learn about what may be causing the allodynia, and when you should see your doctor. 

Fibromyalgia

Have you been feeling tired and disoriented? Has your skin been feeling sensitive to touch? If so, this could be caused by Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a disorder that predominantly impacts women. This disorder is known for amplifying painful sensations by affecting the way that your brain or spinal cord processes painful or nonpainful signals.

Fibromyalgia can be a potentially serious disorder, as it can bring chronic pain and fatigue for those who have it. Those with fibromyalgia can benefit greatly from seeking the right medication from their doctor and by finding therapy to help you cope with how fibromyalgia may be affecting your physical body or your life. 

Sunburn

Ah, the classic, painful sunburn. Most of us have probably been guilty of forgetting to put on sunscreen. While some sunburns can be mild, others can actually cause permanent damage to your skin, not to mention that they can be extremely painful. Sunburns occur when our body is exposed to an excessive amount of ultraviolet light. This can cause our skin cells to become inflamed, or can even lead to cell death.

So if you just got back from a beach day or even just had a 30-minute walk outside (depending on the weather), you could be at risk for sunburn. Make sure to always apply sunscreen in the morning before heading out for your day. Many moisturizers and lip products contain sunscreen too, so adding a product like this to your skincare collection would be a smart move. Also, make sure to reapply throughout the day. 

Always aim for an SPF of 30 or higher, and if you have sensitive skin, you should carefully investigate to find the best sunscreen for your skin type. This way your next beach trip can be a success! Trust us, your skin will thank you.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy refers to the dysfunction of nerves in your body. If your skin has been feeling numb, weak, or if there is a sense of discomfort in a certain area of skin, this could be caused by neuropathic pain. 

Neuropathy can have many causes including diabetes, vitamin deficiency, tumors, chronic diseases, or trauma. If you believe that you may be experiencing nerve damage, it is best to see a neurologist for an MRI or an x-ray to get an official diagnosis. 

Migraines

Those who often experience migraines, or recurring headaches, may also be prone to nausea, vomiting, light and sound sensitivity, and even skin sensitivity. As you might guess, migraines typically affect your head the most, so simple activities like brushing your hair or even putting on your glasses may cause some skin sensitivity. If you have a family history of migraines or experience them frequently, it may be helpful to seek professional care.

Shingles

Unlike most of the conditions above, if you find yourself with shingles, you will probably experience a rash on your skin that turns from red bumps to blisters. Shingles start with skin sensitivity and usually just affect one area of the body or face. The sooner you find treatment, the better for this one! 

A severe case of shingles can also cause nerve damage that could last for months or even years. So it’s important to take care of your body and find the right medication to treat this condition ASAP.

Am I Having an Allergic Reaction?

Allergic reactions on the skin can come in many different forms. The most common allergic reaction to the skin is developing an itchy, red rash, otherwise known as hives. Reactions can be caused by a number of things including chemicals, foods, insect stings, medications, and more. 

Hives can cause red bumps, swelling, and could definitely contribute to your skin feeling sensitive to the touch. If you are experiencing a severe allergic reaction to your skin, reach out to your PCP to find the best treatment for you.

In general, mild allergic reactions to the skin will go away on their own within a week or two. Here are some ways to make your allergic reaction more comfortable in the meantime:

  • Avoid touching the impacted skin
  • Take cool showers and moisturize after
  • Wear baggy clothes to prevent more irritation
  • Use an anti-itch cream if itching persists

Also, if you do have an allergic reaction to something, it is also advised to visit an allergy clinic to seek allergy testing services. Skin prick testing is one of the most common ways to get tested for allergies. It involves putting different liquids on your back or forearm that you may be allergic to. 

Then, a medical professional will gently prick the skin under the liquid. If you do indeed have an allergy to one of the substances, red blotches will start to form in the area. This way, you can hopefully pinpoint the exact substance that you are allergic to and try to steer clear of it in the future.

Do I Have a Chemical Burn?

If you have been trying out some new makeup or skincare products, and you feel a sudden burning sensation on your skin, you could be experiencing a chemical burn. Chemical burns on the skin can be very serious and are considered medical emergencies. 

Most of the chemicals that cause these burns are either strong acids or bases. Chemical burns typically occur on the face, eyes, arms, or legs. If you or someone around you is experiencing a chemical burn, please seek medical help immediately. 

Should I Contact My Doctor?

We like to always err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to taking care of our bodies. So if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, and your condition lasts for longer than two weeks, you should definitely reach out to your primary care physician. 

Also, if there is any bleeding, itching, or pain present, you should definitely get that checked out as soon as possible. If you are experiencing visible symptoms along with your skin sensitivity, you could also schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to hopefully get to the root of the problem. 

In Conclusion

All in all, there are many factors or underlying conditions that could be causing your skin to be sensitive to the touch. It’s important to figure out what may have caused this sudden skin irritation, check your symptoms, and decide on the appropriate treatment route to take. 

It is always recommended to schedule an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist if you are experiencing any pain or if you are experiencing any major symptoms. 

Consider all of the above factors carefully the next time your skin is feeling a bit sensitive!

Sources:

Allodynia: Causes, Treatment, and More | Healthline

Fibromyalgia - Diagnosis, and treatment | Mayo Clinic

6 Ways to Treat Your Skin Allergies | WebMD 

Paresthesia Information Page | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke 


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