Understanding the Causes and Solutions for Skin Sensitivity and Pain
Skin sensitivity is often a symptom of an underlying health condition. Internal and external factors can trigger skin, such as stress, sunburns, shingles, or a poor diet.
The most common symptoms of sensitive skin include a tingling or pins and needles sensation and pain from light touch (allodynia). A variety of conditions can cause these symptoms.
Allergic reactions happen when your immune system overreacts to substances, called allergens, that are usually harmless. They may come into contact with the skin, nose, eyes, or lungs and can be breathed in, swallowed or injected.
When they do, they trigger the release of antibodies that send a message to cells: “Stop that!” These antibodies are single-minded; they target only the allergen you’re allergic to. Peanuts, pollen, certain medications and even a bee sting can trigger an allergy.
A common sign of an allergic reaction is a rash. Other symptoms include itching, a runny nose, watery eyes, itching of the face or body, sneezing and wheezing. It’s important to consult with your dermatologist to find the root cause of these symptoms.
They can also help you discover gentle products to use on the face and body, such as those from LovelySkin. They can recommend anti-allergen moisturizers and creams that will keep your skin smooth and free of irritation.
Sunburns, cuts and other minor injuries cause skin sensitivity, particularly if they aren’t treated correctly. Inflammation, swelling and the heightened activity of nerve cells in the area can trigger allodynia, which causes pain from touches that normally wouldn’t be painful.
The itching and pain associated with a sunburn starts while you’re still in the sun and continues for a few days as damaged cells are repaired. This process peaks 24 to 48 hours after exposure and can be exacerbated by itching, damaging the skin and delaying healing.
Keep the burned skin cool and moisturized to help speed up healing. Avoid applying numbing creams, which may contain irritants. Drink plenty of liquids (preferably water) to hydrate. If the burn has blisters, cover them with loose cotton or gauze pads and apply ointments that don’t contain alcohol, benzocaine or lidocaine. If you need pain relief, ibuprofen or acetaminophen are safe options.
Migraines are recurrent, debilitating headaches that can cause throbbing pain in the head or neck. Nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light sound, and other triggers can accompany them. Migraines can even lead to allodynia, which is extreme sensitivity to stimuli that wouldn’t normally cause pain.
Research has shown that migraines are linked to inflammation around the blood vessels that surround the brain. This inflammation causes the nerves that send pain signals to the central nervous system to become overly sensitive or hyperexcitable. This is what causes the throbbing pain of migraines.
If you suffer from recurrent migraines, keeping track of the dates and times when your symptoms begin is important. This will help you identify potential triggers and avoid them. It will also make finding a treatment that works for you easier.
If your skin hurts to the touch, it is important to see a medical professional. This is because it may be a symptom of an underlying health issue.
The central nervous system plays a role in pain signals sent from the skin. Individuals with sensitive skin can experience a condition called allodynia. With this, even a light touch to the skin causes pain. This can be a sign of nerve damage or a health condition like diabetes.
The good news is a lot of these conditions are treatable. There are treatments available, whether for allergies, sunburns, or an illness causing your skin to feel sensitive to the touch. You can get the relief you need by working with a healthcare professional and using at-home treatments.
If you are still experiencing a problem after trying these treatments, it is important to see your doctor immediately. This will help ensure the situation does not escalate into something more serious.