Skin Numbness: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Skin Numbness

Have you ever felt like your skin was crawling, itching or had numbness for no specific reason; probably, it was an indication that your body is attacked by Paraesthesia. Almost every person suffers this skin numbness at any stage of life, and it can be caused by various reasons. One of the most common moments when people actually observe this numbness in their body is when their legs and arms fall asleep, and they start observing some sense of needles and pins on their body. Experts say that this sensation occurs when you unknowingly put some pressure on a nerve in your body. The condition becomes normal when the pressure from that affected nerve is released with certain change in posture. Although, this type of paraesthesia is a temporary state of body and it becomes normal without any special treatment. But in case, if paraesthesia persists so long, it means you have the certain medical disorder, and it demands treatment.

Paraesthesia term describes a prickling or burning sensation on skin and people may experience it at feet, hands, arms, legs or other parts of the body. This sensation does not pose any warning sign before, and in most cases, the condition goes painlessly. In many cases, people experience paraesthesia when they sit with crossed legs or fall asleep by keeping their underarm below their head for a longer time. These conditions actually block the flow of blood to a certain area of the body, and a tingling sensation begins. In medical terms, numbness is defined as anesthesia or hypoesthesia, a state with absent or decreased sensation. The tingling sensation is also associated with this skin numbness, and in medical terms, it is described as paraesthesia where you feel ants crawling or needles and pins on your skin.

Skin Numbness

Medical health reports reveal that paraesthesia can cause two types of nerve damages. Radiculopathy occurs when the nerve roots get irritated, compressed or inflamed and start causing some weakness in the affected limb areas. On the other side, Neuropathy condition occurs due to chronic nerve damage that is caused either by a deficiency of vitamins or due to high blood sugar levels. Some studies also reveal that paraesthesia is caused by strokes, poor circulation, multiple sclerosis, nerve entrapment syndrome, and encephalitis. Note that nerve entrapment syndrome can cause major damage to peripheral nerves in your body that further leads to pain and skin numbness.

There are two types of skin numbness in general; the simple paraesthesia is a temporary condition that fades away automatically with time. However, the other, chronic version of paraesthesia takes much time to resolve. Below we have discussed common causes of skin numbness.

Causes of Skin Numbness

  • Radiculopathy:

Skin Numbness

The chronic skin numbness is a common sign of nerve damage, and in few cases, this damage is caused by radiculopathy. It is a skin condition where nerve roots become inflamed, irritated and compressed. Studies reveal that a common cause behind radiculopathy is a herniated task; this condition applies some pressure to the nerve that further leads to the numbing sensation. Another possible cause of skin numbness is narrowing of the canal that is responsible for carrying signals from the spinal cord and deliver to different parts of the body.

  • Hyperglycemia:

Skin Numbness

Hyperglycemia is also known as a condition of high blood sugar in the body, and one common symptom of this disease is skin numbness. When this state stays active so long on the body, it can cause huge damage to peripheral nerves. If not treated on time, this nerve damage further leads to a state that is named as diabetic neuropathy, and it makes people feel like needles or pins on the skin. It sometimes leads to permanent numbness, a state of paralysis. Experts reveal that people that are suffering from diabetes may also have trouble due to nerve damage in some stage of life.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

Skin Numbness

A median nerve runs in the human body from the forearm to hand; the moment when it gets compressed or irritated, it causes carpal tunnel syndrome. So many medical health conditions are responsible for this state like repetitive motions, obesity, and diabetes. The median nerve helps to initiate sensations to the palm side of fingers and thumbs; it also handles the motor functions at the base of the thumb. In case if you start facing skin numbness in any or all of these points on your skin, it may be because of carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Multiple Sclerosis:

Skin Numbness

Chronic paraesthesia can also be caused by multiple sclerosis; as per medical health experts; numbness in body, face, arms, or legs is the early and most commonly observed sign of this disease. Some patients report that this numbness may increase with time by a great extent and it leads to an inability to use a certain part of the body; in few critical cases, the patient is not able to hold objects, write or walk.

  • Fibromyalgia:

Paraesthesia is one of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia, and this medical condition is characterized by heightened sensitivity to pressure along with chronic pain. Some studies reveal that this kind of skin numbness is also related to nervousness and anxiety about the disease. It is also observed that paraesthesia can further lead to acroparaesthesia, state that causes a tingling sensation in feet and hands due to lack of carbon dioxide. It is advised to use some trustworthy stress relief techniques to deal with this issue.

  • Alcoholism:

The overdoses of alcohol can also lead to some neuropathic condition that is named as alcoholic polyneuropathy or alcoholic neuropathy. Note that a combination of diabetic neuropathy with alcoholic neuropathy can lead to some long-term complications as like chronic pain, disability, and damage to feet and hands. Extreme numbness can be experienced when the diseases cause major damage to nerves; in some critical cases, it can even affect body’s normal ability to feel sensations. This disease may be accompanied by pain in legs and arms.

  • Hypothyroidism:

When a person is suffering from hypothyroidism; his/her body is not able to produce enough amounts of thyroid hormones. In case if it is left untreated for a longer time, this medical health issue can further cause peripheral neuropathy.

This disease causes major damage to nerves that are otherwise responsible for carrying information between the brain and nervous system along with rest parts of the body including legs, arms, etc. People that are suffering from hypothyroidism happens due to fluid retention in some tissues that further causes pressure on nerves.

  • Lyme Disease:

When the Lyme disease is left untreated so long, it may further case skin numbness, pain, and weakness in limbs. Some patients also suffer difficulty in movements. It is important to apply the appropriate treatment on time to deal with this medical health condition.

Other than this, skin numbness can be caused due to deficiencies of some vitamins like E, B-12, B-6, B-1, and niacin. In case if you have too much vitamin D content in your body, then also it can cause numbness. Medical studies show that few medications such as chemotherapy drugs also cause numbness in the skin. And this medical health condition can also be a result of excessive exposure to toxic substances.

Common Symptoms of Skin Numbness

Skin numbness or paraesthesia can affect different parts of body and symptom usually vary from person to person. It commonly affects hands, legs, arms, and feet. The state of skin numbness can be temporary and chronic. Some people also report cold, burning, tingling, weakness and numbness.

Studies reveal that chronic skin numbness can also lead to stabbing pain and clumsiness of the affected limb. When the disease is not diagnosed on time; it can further cause these symptoms:

  1. Tendency for repeated or frequent urination.
  2. Anxiety and stress.
  3. Tingling or burning sensation on skin surfaces.
  4. Feeling of numb in the certain specific region of the body, especially during walking or exercising.
  5. Itching sensation.
  6. Pain in the lower back and neck area.
  7. Breakout of rashes.
  8. Pain and stress in muscles.
  9. Difficulty in breathing.
  10. Dizziness and difficulty in walking.
  11. Confused state of mind.
  12. Paralytic stroke.
  13. Eye-related health issues.
  14. Unexplained exhaustion.

Treatment of Skin Numbness

If you feel skin numbness due to no obvious cause, it is important to consult doctors as soon as possible. In order to diagnose this medical health condition, your doctors may need to study your medical history. You need to provide details about all the activities that you perform in a routine with repetitive movements. It is also important to mention the medications that you often take for any kind of medical health condition.

Your doctor may need to perform the full physical exam, and in most cases, it also includes a neurological exam. In case if you feel numbness in spine or neck region, the professionals may also recommend CT scans, X-rays, and MRI scans. The ultimate treatment of skin numbness depends upon actual causes behind this condition. In order to get full relief, it is important to treat the root cause of numbness. When numbness happens due to any underlying disease condition, it is important to avail treatment for that disease first.

The great news is that it is also possible to treat skin numbness with some home-based remedies. The list includes:

  • Warm compress:

In case if you are in trouble due to acute skin numbness, it is good to apply warm compresses to the affected area of skin. It is a way to boost the blood supply to the affected region so that some discomfort from pain and tingling sensation can be achieved. In order to apply this treatment, all that you need to do is soak a washcloth in the warm water and then apply it on the affected area for at least 5 to 7 minutes. Repeat this treatment several times until the numbness is gone.

  • Magnesium:

You must be aware of the fact that magnesium is the essential mineral present in the human nervous system and it plays an important role in preventing nerve damage. It also maintains proper flow of blood in different parts of the body. Low magnesium content can cause the symptom of skin numbness that is why medical health professionals advise improving your intake for magnesium-rich food items like dark green vegetables, seeds, nuts, oatmeal, peanut butter, soybeans, cold water fish, avocados, bananas, low-fat yogurt and dark chocolate.

  • Massage:

It is also possible to get some relief from skin numbness applying massage without or with oil. It helps to boost the blood circulation in the affected portion of the body so that symptoms of paraesthesia can be avoided. Massage also helps to stimulate nerves and improves their functionality. Some patients also prefer to use coconut oil, warm olive oil, or mustard oil to treat the affected area. It is good to massage the numb skin area for five minutes in a circular motion; repeat the treatment for multiple times in a day.

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