Dermatology/Skin sensitivity

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Question
Hi Doctor,

I have a minor issue, the skin area above my left temple and eye, back into my hairline is sensitive, like it's been burned or something. It doesnt bother me much but if I touch it, it stings. There's no swelling, marks, discoloration at all. It's not a huge pain just enough to make me wonder what's going on.It has been like this for a week or so. Would you have any ideas as to a cause?

Thanks,

Rob

Answer
Paresthesia is a sensation, usually felt on the skin, usually felt or described as numbness, tingling, pins and needles, or pricking. It is sometimes also known as having the arm, leg, or other body part "fall asleep." Continue reading for more information on these and other possible symptoms.

Paresthesia may be classified as either transient or chronic. Transient paresthesia may be a symptom of hyperventilation syndrome or a panic attack. Chronic paresthesia may result from poor circulation, nerve irritation, neuropathy, or many other conditions and causes. There is no known long-term physical effect from paresthesia (although its underlying conditions may have various effects).

Several causes and situations in which paresthesia might be found may include:

Atherosclerosis
Autoimmune disorders
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Diabetes
Fibromyalgia (FMS)
Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)
Herniated disc
Herpes zoster (shingles)
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Hypoparathyroidism
Hypothyroidism
Lupus erythematosus
Lyme disease
Menopause
Metabolic disorders
Migraines
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Peripheral neuropathy
Radiculopathy
Sciatica
Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B5 deficiency
Whiplash

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment for paresthesia is selected by a doctor or professional in the neurology area (neurologist), or other qualified source. A CT scan is commonly used for diagnosis. Once the diagnosis has been made, treatment options may include medication, moving limbs, and loosening or actively using muscles.

Underlying causes may lead to different treatment methods, especially related to those particular conditions. Please keep in mind that there is no cure for some of the causes of this sensation, although there may still be treatment or management options. Additionally, relief for the symptoms may be desired, so some treatment options may be requested that are mainly, or even purely, symptomatic ones.

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>

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