Skin Feels Like It’s Burning


When you have an injury or tissue damage, it can end up making your skin feel like it is burning. This may be because of pain or itching sensations. It can be caused by a disease, an allergy, a nerve disorder, poisoning, a drug reaction or an injury. If there is an underlying cause for the condition, then you will have to treat the medical condition in order to get relief from the burning sensation.

Why Does My Skin Feel Like It’s Burning?

Your first goal is to figure out why your skin feels like it is burning. Some of the causes are minor and will resolve on their own. In other cases, the cause may be a serious medical condition that requires professional treatment. If you cannot figure out the cause, you should go to your doctor to be professionally diagnosed and treated.

1. Allergies

Certain allergens can end up making your skin feel like it is burning. This is actually a common allergic reaction and can occur when you are exposed to allergens like latex. Basically, the area of your skin that is in contact with the allergen may end up feeling like it is burning. If you do not have actual skin contact with the allergen, then the condition is known as atopic dermatitis. If you experience anaphylaxis, your skin may feel like it is burning. To resolve this condition, you have to find and avoid the allergen that is causing your skin to react.

2. Trauma or Injuries

Certain injuries can make your skin feel like it is burning. A blunt force injury, strong sunlight, major injury, insect bite or radiation could cause this reaction. You could also experience this reaction because of a burn from chemicals or heat. When your skin reacts this way, it may feel hot and red. It may also be swollen because of inflammation.

3. Skin Diseases

There are a variety of different skin diseases that can make your skin feel like it is burning. Many of these conditions start by making your skin feel itchy. When you scratch the itchy skin, it causes micro-tears to develop in your skin that can cause the burning sensation. Because of this, the burning sensation is really a secondary reaction that happens because of your itching. If you itch your skin and it tears, these tears can can get infected and become pustules that ooze discharge. This type of skin ailment can be caused by skin conditions like urticaria, dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.

4. Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetes can cause a variety of complications. This condition occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin. The chronic metabolic condition leads to elevated blood sugar levels. Over time, this can damage nerves at any location in the body. When this happens, it can cause a tingling or burning sensation on the skin. Once this condition begins, it is impossible to reverse. If you have diabetic neuropathy, you need to seek treatment immediately to prevent the disease from causing irreversible damage.

5. Herbs

There are certain plants that have chemicals in them that can make your skin feel like it is tingling. If you come into contact with plants like stinging nettles or poison oak, it can cause redness, swelling, itching and burning on your skin. Chili peppers have a chemical known as capsaican that can cause the skin to burn. Likewise, mustard oil can cause a burning sensation if it has not been diluted.

6. Toxins and Drugs

There are certain drugs and toxins that can make your skin burn. You may have other symptoms, or a burning sensation may be your only sensation. If this is due to medication, you should go to your doctor immediately to discuss getting a different medication and options for managing your side effects. Poisons and illicit drugs can also cause burning sensations. Illicit drugs can change your brain chemistry and irritate your nerves, which can cause the burning sensation. Arsenic poisoning can be deadly and can cause a burning sensation as well.

7. Peripheral Neuropathy

This condition is a medical term for damaged nerves. When your nerves are irritated or damaged, it can make your skin feel like it is burning. If the nerves are located outside of your spinal cord and brain, it is known as peripheral neuropathy. This may happen due to toxins, metabolic conditions, inflammation, trauma, infections, hereditary factors or nerve tumors. It can also occur due to diabetic neuropathy or pinched nerves. Once you have peripheral neuropathy, it can make your skin feel prickling, tingling, numbness or burning sensation. In addition, damaged motor fibers can cause paralysis or muscle weakness.

8. Chemicals and Sun Exposure

Your skin is designed to protect your body from outside invaders and other dangers. If chemicals in cosmetics or other items are applied to your skin, it can sometimes cause a skin reaction. The top layer of the skin may peel off due to chemicals or excessive amounts of sun exposure. These environmental factors can cause a burning or tingling sensation.

9. Anxiety

The mind and body are amazingly linked together. Sometimes, a mental disorder can end up affecting how your body functions. Someone who has anxiety or who is temporarily anxious may end up developing a rash or itching. This may occur due to stress as well. If you already have a skin ailment like herpes, psoriasis or eczema, anxiety and stress can make it more likely that your condition will flare up.

10. Cutaneous Decompression Sickness

This medical condition is nicknamed the skin bends. It may develop after diving because gases in your blood are trapped and left within the capillaries. This causes the capillaries to bend in ways that they were not supposed to. You may have a marbled appearance on your skin, swelling,reddened skin, burning sensations and itching. The condition can also occur if you are stung or bitten by an aquatic animal.

Conditions like strokes, poisoning and diabetic neuropathy require immediate medical care. If you experience persistent itching, a rash, bumps on your skin or skin discoloration, you should go to your doctor immediately.


  1. my 14 yr old son has bumps on his skin since birth. I think it was ketosis Polaris. onset of puberty brought them all over his body except underarms and groin area. some get a white head much like acne. he says his skin FEELS like its cracking. when he has flare ups it gets red and angry looking. cool air is really the only thing that helps. spicy food, sun, heat, embarrassment, and exercise all make it worse. he’s been diagnosed with eczema and ketosis poloaris, its been depressing him to the point of tears lately. I think if we could get a handle on the painful flare ups he would be fine.

    • His emotional reactions are related to his physical symptoms. You are have sought medical attention, and this will bring him many benefits. You may want to speak with a specialist to address specific symptoms. Speak with him to learn about his thoughts and feelings. This will help him at this time. You may want to make another appointment at this time. Best of luck, Amy!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here