When your skin is sensitive to touch, it can be uncomfortable, irritating, and, in some cases, unbearable. Tenderness or skin pain is medically known as allodynia, a condition in which one experiences extreme sensitivity or pain even to non-painful stimuli such as wind.
There are various types of skin that are sensitive to touch. Tactile allodynia or mechanical allodynia refers to pain caused by touch, whereas thermal allodynia refers to pain caused by exposure to cold or warmth.
There are two types of mechanical allodynia: dynamic mechanical allodynia (pain caused by brushing the skin) and static mechanical allodynia (pain caused by light pressure or touch).
Skin sensitivity that is abnormally increased to different types of stimuli may also be an indication of other health issues, such as nerve problems, nutritional deficiencies, or a viral infection.
Symptoms Skin Sensitive to Touch
It is simple to identify symptoms of sore skin or skin that is sensitive to touch. The pain can be generalized or localized. Intense pain is frequently triggered by stimuli that should not normally cause pain. To test this, use a cotton pad or gauze. Brush it lightly over your skin.
You can also apply it to the skin with a warm or cold compress, or even the tip of your finger. If you notice any tenderness or pain while doing any of these things, or even a tingling sensation, you may be suffering from allodynia.
Itching, the sensation that something is crawling on your skin, and a burning or pins and needles sensation are all symptoms of allodynia.
Causes of Touch Sensitive Skin
Skin that is sensitive to touch can have a variety of causes, ranging from simple sunburn to a serious condition or disease. The following are some potential causes:
1. Sunburn is caused by overexposure to the sun.
Overexposure to the sun will result in a first- or second-degree burn, making your skin sensitive to touch, even if it is gentle. First-degree burns, in which the outer layer of skin is partially burned, are usually the least serious.
The skin will become red, swollen, and painful. Second-degree burns are those that affect both the outer and second layers of skin. The skin will turn bright red. Blisters are common, and you will experience severe pain and swelling on your skin.
2. Postherpetic Neuralgia
The virus that caused chickenpox will remain in your body for the rest of your life. The virus can reactivate as you get older, and it can also happen when your body is stressed, resulting in shingles.
Postherpetic neuralgia occurs when your nerve fibers are damaged during a shingles outbreak. Because the damaged fibers are unable to send messages from the skin to the brain, chronic and excruciating pain, known as allodynia, results.
Muscle weakness, numbness, an itchy sensation, and paralysis are also symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia.
3. Demyelinating Disorders
Demyelinating diseases can have an impact on the nervous system. These medical conditions occur when the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerve cell is damaged, resulting in a variety of symptoms such as skin sensitivity and pain.
4. Defensive Tactility
The midbrain is the part of the brain responsible for sorting and evaluating various stimuli. Tactile defensiveness can be caused by a neurological defect in the midbrain, resulting in a painful reaction to normal stimuli like light touch or pressure.
Migraines can cause throbbing or pulsing sensations in one part of the head that can last for hours or days. Migraines can also cause nausea and vomiting, as well as extreme sensitivity to heat, light, and pressure. If you have a severe migraine headache, even a gentle touch to the skin on your face or combing your hair can cause pain.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by a variety of symptoms, including headaches, muscle weakness, and widespread pain. Allodynia is a common symptom of fibromyalgia and causes pain when clothing touches your skin or your fingers gently rubbed over your arm.
This is a peripheral nervous system disorder. The affected nerves or nerves can cause muscle numbness and weakness, loss of sensation, muscle atrophy, chronic body pains and allodynia, and other symptoms.
Treatment of Skin Sensitive to Touch
The type of treatment will be determined by the specific cause of the skin’s sensitivity to touch. Your symptoms may improve if the underlying cause is treated, but some of these conditions, such as demyelinating disease and fibromyalgia, are difficult to treat.
Treatment for vitamin B deficiency can reduce or eliminate the tingling sensation on the skin. An anti-viral medication can be used to treat shingles and can help relieve the burning pain on the affected skin.
When you have one of these conditions, it is common to wonder, “why does my skin hurt?” To alleviate your symptoms, your doctor may recommend a variety of medications, ranging from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen to anesthetic drugs like ketamine.
Your doctor may also prescribe narcotics such as tramadol, morphine, or alfentanil, as well as a topical pain reliever such as capsaicin or aspercreme cream.
Even naproxen or other anti-inflammatory drugs could be used to prevent central nervous system oversensitization, allowing allodynia to be treated.
Certain migraine-specific drugs, such as triptans, may be ineffective when tested in migraine attacks with no allodynia. When injected with allodynia, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Ketorolac, and dihydroergotamine will work well.
When Should You See a Doctor?
Tender or sensitive skin could be a sign of a medical condition that requires immediate attention. If you notice that your skin is unusually sensitive, you may be suffering from allodynia. Seeking medical attention is a good idea so that any underlying cause can be treated and you can be free of the sensitivity.