Causes and Treatments for Burning Skin

Burning skin can be caused by a skin infection but can also be internal conditions. Home remedies usually help but severe conditions will require medical attention.

A burning sensation on the skin can be annoying or painful depending on the severity. Burning sensations on the skin are not necessarily confined to a specific area of the skin. Determining recent phenomenon your skin has been exposed to and checking for additional symptoms will help you determine the cause and subsequent treatment for your burning skin.

Causes of Skin Burning Sensations

A burning sensation can happen due to a variety of conditions. And it doesn't necessarily indicate a skin problem.

1. Diabetes

Those who suffer from diabetes will frequently complain of a burning sensation on the skin. This is caused by the disease damaging the nerves throughout the body. Nerve damage from severe diabetes will be accompanied by increased thirst, difficulty clearing skin infections, increased experience of skin infection, sudden blurred vision, unexplained weight gain or loss and frequent urination.

2. Shingles

Shingles is a viral infection which remains in a dormant state after experiencing chicken pox. Once it is activated it will cause a severe burning sensation on different areas of the skin. After some time this burning will result in painful blisters appearing in the area. These blisters will usually appear on one side of the torso. If you suspect you are suffering from shingles it is important to get medical treatment right away. Allowing this disease to spread may allow the virus to attack the eye tissue, which can cause blindness. Blisters from shingles can also cause permanent scarring on the skin.

3. Peripheral Vascular Disease

This disease causes the blood vessels to narrow, restricting the amount of blood flow to the skin, particularly in the legs and arms. Peripheral vascular disease will also cause swelling of the feet, blue lips or thick nails as the blood flow is cut off.

4. Cerebrovascular Accident

This condition causes blood to drain from the brain, causing tissue damage. This is often accompanied by peripheral artery disease, a condition that frequently causes a skin burning sensation to appear on the back. If these conditions are present, a sudden personality change, change in your handwriting or drooping face may also be present.

5. Nerve Trouble

Sciatica, or a nerve condition caused by a slipped disk in the back, can cause a burning sensation to appear in the infected area. Paresthesia, or a condition where the nerves become compressed, can cause the skin to develop a burning sensation. In most cases, this will begin as a pricking or tingling sensation and develop into a burn. The skin around this area may feel numb or itch. Compressed nerves in the shoulder can cause the burning sensation to spread down the arm and into the hand as well.

6. Skin Disorders

Skin disorders such as eczema, fungal infections, psoriasis, scabies, rosacea and others can cause the skin to burn. Make note of other side effects such as altered color or texture of the skin, swelling or itching that will help you narrow down the cause of your discomfort.

Treatments for Skin Burning Sensations

Once the underlying cause of the burning sensation is determined, appropriate treatment can be administered to alleviate your discomfort.

1. Homemade Paste

In many cases, home remedies can be used to rid yourself of the burning sensations. Creating a paste of fresh neem leaves, one teaspoon sesame oil and one teaspoon turmeric powder and applying it to the skin is said to assist with alleviating this pain. Keep this mixture on the skin for up to one hour, then wash it away. Olive oil can help relieve burning sensations on the breasts or abdomen. This home remedy is found to be particularly helpful to pregnant women.

2. Avoid Heat and Stay Calm

Until the burning sensation on the skin stops, avoid hot water or direct sunlight. Try not to scratch the skin, even if it is itching. Damaging the skin which is suffering from a burning sensation increases your chances of infection and may make your condition worse. Stress is also said to aggravate burning sensations further. Work to keep calm and employ techniques such as meditation until your skin condition improves.

3. Improve Circulation

Diabetics can work to improve their circulation to minimize the damage which can cause skin burning sensations. Make a point of exercising regularly and adjust your diet to eliminate food that spikes your blood sugar. If you did not previously have trouble with skin burning, speak with your doctor about altering your medication to better manage your symptoms.

4. Medications

Several medicated ointments and creams are available to help rid the body of burning sensations caused by infection. These medications can also help reduce burning sensations caused by an allergic reaction.

  • Muscle relaxers may also be prescribed to those who appear to have a burning sensation that is stemming from compressed nerves.
  • Patients that develop a burning sensation on the skin as a response to anxiety may be prescribed Ativan or klonopin to help minimize their outbreaks.
  • Corticosteroids can also be applied to minimize the burning sensation on the skin.

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