Skin is the outermost protective covering of the body. It has a rich supply of blood vessels and nerve endings, which makes it extremely sensitive to any external stimulus. Since skin is a delicate and sensitive organ, any harm to skin can cause pain and other sensation such as burning, numbness, etc.
There are several reasons where a person feels as if his skin is on fire. This sensation of burning skin can be in one particular location or the burning sensation can be all over the body, depending on the underlying cause.
When you feel as if your skin is on fire, look for any changes on your skin surface such as rash, blisters, or color change, pus filled elevation or a weal, crusts or scabs. Most often you may finds this signs and symptoms along with the sensation of burning skin.
Symptoms And Causes Of Burning Sensation On Skin
Here are few important causes where you feel the distressing and agonizing sensation as if your skin is on fire.
- Burns: there is agonizing burning pain, whether it is superficial or deep burn. Burns can be due to steam, boiling water, chemical or electrical burns. Whatever may be the cause, there is excruciating burning sensation for few hours after a burn injury.
- Shingles: it is a viral disease, caused by virus of the same family that causes chickenpox. The condition is also called herpes zoster. There is severe burning sensation on a particular portion of the skin involved, before the appearance of fluid filled blisters. Many times the person becomes restless due to agonizing feeling as if his skin is on fire.
- Nerve problems: in certain conditions the peripheral nerve endings get compressed giving rise to a feeling of burning sensation over the skin. The condition may be preceded with itching sensation. Pinching of nerves in the spine can also cause burning and pain in the lower limb as it occurs in sciatica.
Causes Of Skin On Fire Feeling
- Certain skin conditions such as psoriasis can cause severe burning of the skin and a feeling as if skin is on fire. Psoriasis is a non infectious skin disease which is characterized by well defined silvery scales, dry and slightly raised. The common areas of affection are scalp, back of elbow, front of knee and leg, and lower part of back of the trunk.
- Eczema or dermatitis: it is a non infectious skin condition which is characterized by swelling, burning, itching, scaling and oozing of the skin. The exact cause of eczema is not known though some of the triggering factors that can cause eczema are allergies (plant, cosmetic, clothing, chemical etc).
- Diabetes: certain systemic conditions such as diabetes for a prolonged period can affect the peripheral nerves and lead to burning sensation on the skin. Other associated symptoms can be excess of urination, thirst, and hunger. Loss of weight, blurred vision etc.