Skin pain: Causes of pinching and burning sensation on the skin

Skin pain: Causes of pinching and burning sensation on the skin
Photo source: Getty images

Skin pain is a symptom that occurs when there is an injury to the skin, which may be a cut, burn, scald or frostbite. Of course, skin pain is a typical symptom of skin disease. And this is, for example, a fungal, mycotic disease. However, other diseases are also manifested by it.

Skin pain can be provoked by various superficial diseases, infections, injuries. But it can also be a symptom that is not noticeable visibly and on the surface, but hidden somewhere inside.

Skin diseases are both infectious and fungal, and it is these that are accompanied by pain at a particular site on the skin. But in addition, of course, a distinction must be made between primary and secondary pain. 

Skin pain varies in nature and can be felt, for example, as:

  • sharp pain
  • dull pain
  • burning
  • stinging
  • itching

The cause of skin pain is injury

Abrasion on the skin, also indicates skin pain
Injury is a common cause. Source: Getty Images

In the case of superficial trauma and invasive injury to the skin, pain naturally occurs because the superficial structure of the skin and the nerve endings within it have been disrupted.

These then send a sensation and a signal to the brain about the disruption of the structure. This is reflected in the sensation of pain in the affected area. Open wounds, cuts, abrasions, burns or frostbite are very common. In the case of injuries, it is possible to clearly determine what is causing the pain.

Diseases that can cause skin pain

Skin pains occur even in cases where there is no visible cause. For example, it can be a symptom due to a painful viral disease. Another one is shingles caused by the Varicella virus.

Then there is burning, stinging, skin pain to the touch and also skin tinglingLater, a blister also appears. Various blisters and rashes may appear in the case of other infectious diseases that attack the skin directly.

A good example of this is a corn (clavus) or a wart.

In addition to skin diseases, pain on the skin can also signal more serious problems and health ailments. These can also cause the sufferer many inconveniences in practical life.

These include diseases such as psoriasis, chicken pox, perioral dermatitis or epidermolysis bullosa. These diseases are mainly manifested on the skin, as they are primarily skin diseases and are associated with other symptoms in addition to pain.

Reddened skin, itching and pain on the skin are also caused by fungal microorganisms that cause fungal diseases, i.e. mycosis.

There are various yeasts, fungi and other small organisms that appear on the skin and cause easily overlooked, but very unpleasant problems.

Examples of some mycotic skin diseases:

Foot, mycosis, sore and itchy skin
Mycosis of the skin of the feet affects approximately 30% of the Slovak population. Source.
  • Pityriasis versicolor occurs mainly on skin that sweats excessively and where a large number of sebaceous glands are located. The most common sites are on the chest and back, hence chest and back skin pain.
  • Seborrhoeic dermatitis most commonly affects the scalp, including painful skin in the scalp.
  • Dermatomycosis of the scalp or also tinea capitis is also manifested by pain in the scalp. When chronically persistent, it causes damage to the roots of the hair.
  • Microsporia is a disease transmitted from pets, especially to children.
  • Tinea faciei manifests on the face and, in addition to skin pain on the scalp, manifests as sharply circumscribed foci. In tinea corporis, an area of the body is affected, for example, also pain in the skin of the abdomen.
  • Tinea inguinalis occurs in the groin area.
  • Tinea manus, when the skin scales, thickens and cracks form on it.
  • Tinea pedis affects approximately 30% of the population and spreads mainly in collectives.
  • Tinea unguium, but also onychomycosis, is a fungal disease that affects the nails.If it persists for a long time, it can destroy the entire nail. 

Here a visit to a dermatologist is necessary, who can prescribe effective antifungal drugs or various ointments to eradicate these harmful organisms.

Other causes of skin pain

Many times, skin pain also needs to be examined in the context of other symptoms. It may also be a problem that belongs to the sphere of neurological medicine, or the pain may be caused by various autoimmune diseases.

In addition, the skin is also very sensitive to allergic reactions to contact with various chemicals or other substances from the environment. Pain in one place can often signal a disease that needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Urticaria on the skin
Hives, also known as urticaria. Source: Getty Images

Skin pain is also caused by:

What are the causes of a sensitive and painful scalp?

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Interesting resources

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  • Landerholm, A. (2010). Neuropathic pain: Somatosensory Functions related to Spontaneous Ongoing Pain, Mechanical Allodynia and Pain Relief. Thesis. Stockholm: Karolinska Institutet 
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  • Fitzpatrick, David; Purves, Dale; Augustine, George (2004). Neuroscience. Sunderland, Mass: Sinauer. pp. 231–250. ISBN 978-0-87893-725-7.
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  • Wei XH, Zang Y, Wu CY, Xu JT, Xin WJ, Liu XG (2007). "Peri-sciatic administration of recombinant rat TNF-alpha induces mechanical allodynia via upregulation of TNF-alpha in dorsal root ganglia and in spinal dorsal horn: the role of NF-kappa B pathway". Exp. Neurol205 (2): 471–84. 
  • Dijkstra IM, de Haas AH, Brouwer N, Boddeke HW, Biber K (2006). "Challenge with innate and protein antigens induces CCR7 expression by microglia in vitro and in vivo". Glia54 (8): 861–72. 
  • Alique M, Herrero JF, Lucio-Cazana FJ (2007). "All-trans retinoic acid induces COX-2 and prostaglandin E2 synthesis in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells: involvement of retinoic acid receptors and extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2". J Neuroinflammation4: 1.
  • Rukwied R, Chizh BA, Lorenz U (2007). "Potentiation of nociceptive responses to low pH injections in humans by prostaglandin E2". J Pain8 (5): 443–51. 
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