Help! My Skin Is Sensitive to Touch

skin sensitive to touch

Many different conditions could make your skin sensitive to touch. However, it can be hard to figure out why your skin feels so sensitive or even painful. Here’s a look at some possibilities that make your skin sensitive to touch, so you’re prepared for your next doctor’s appointment.


Shingles is a viral infection that causes a very painful, blistery rash. The rash may happen anywhere on your body, but it most commonly wraps around the torso. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus remains inactive in your body. Later in life, the inactive virus may reactivate, turning into shingles.

The symptoms of shingles usually only affect one section of one side of your body.

Common shingles symptoms include:

  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Pain, burning, numbness or tingling
  • A red rash that starts a few days after the pain begins
  • Itching
  • Blisters that fill with fluid, open up and then crust over

Other shingles symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Light sensitivity
  • Fatigue

Shingles affects people differently, and the pain associated with shingles may be very intense. While a painful rash is common, some people never develop the rash.

So, if you suspect shingles, you need to contact your doctor right away, especially if you have a rash around your eye, a widespread rash, are over 60 years old or know someone with a weakened immune system. 


People living with fibromyalgia know how the widespread body pain can cause tender skin. Even a gentle touch can feel unbearably painful. In fact, sensitivity to touch is one of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Another common symptom is a tingling sensation. The tingling feeling might be in one specific area or widespread over your body. As with any chronic health condition, certain things may trigger your fibromyalgia symptoms to worsen, causing increased skin sensitivity.

Typically, fibromyalgia occurs with other types of health conditions, such as migraines, autoimmune diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, and others. Often, fibromyalgia symptoms improve once other health conditions are addressed. However, fibromyalgia treatment is also important. 

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases occur when your immune system mistakenly attacks your body. These conditions are systemic, affecting the entire body. Often, autoimmune diseases that don’t directly affect the skin may cause skin sensitivity or redness.

However, some types of autoimmune diseases directly affect the skin. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are examples of autoimmune diseases that directly affect the skin. These conditions cause a build up of skin cells that may appear scaly and red.

See your doctor regularly and talk about your skin symptoms. Your autoimmune disease treatment plan may need to be modified.

skin sensitive to touchDermatitis

Dermatitis is a term that characterizes skin inflammation. Typically, dermatitis causes an itchy rash and swollen or red skin. Eczema, dandruff and allergic reaction rashes are all forms of dermatitis.

If you come into contact with something you are allergic to, you may have an allergic reaction. Hives may happen in an allergic reaction, and they are often an itchy and painful rash. Anytime you have or suspect an allergic reaction, it’s important to see your doctor or go to an urgent care clinic immediately.


  1. You missed out Autism Spectrum Disorders / Aspergers. Some people are hyposensitive and others are hypersensitive to certain senses, including touch. So some people with autism will therefore have sensitivity to touch, and even feel pain when lightly brushed.


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