Needle pricking sensation on the skin is also called paresthesia. This condition can happen at any part of your body. You may feel a tingling sensation on your feet hands or legs if they are under a pressure for a long time or you are still in the same position for a long time.
Needle pricking sensation on skin surface is usually caused by when a nerve is under pressure for a prolonged time. This pricking sensation can occur in any part of the body like arm feet legs and hands. This pricking sensation on the skin is usually harmless and recovers after some time but they may indicate some serious medical condition.
If this sensation does not indicate any serious medical condition it will go away when we change our posture or move the area where we feel a tingling sensation.
In this article, I will discuss some of the important causes and treatments of this needle pricking sensation on the skin. This will help you to prevent these needle pricking sensation and underlying the cause which is responsible for this sensation.
- 1 Causes of needle pricking sensation on the skin surface
- 2 Treatment of needle pricking sensation on skin
Causes of needle pricking sensation on the skin surface
Needle pricking sensation on skin can be caused by stroke, certain medicines, anxiety, stress, diabetes, and pregnancy.
Here is the detailed explanation of all these causes:
Stroke is an emergency medical condition in which blood supply to the brain is lost. The part of the brain which is deprived of blood supply stops working. Stroke is of two types ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. In ischemic stroke blood supply to the brain is lost and in hemorrhagic stroke blood is leaked from brain vessels.
Patients suffering from stroke feel a needle pricking sensation on the skin. This happens because blood flow to a certain area of the brain is lost. This cut of blood flow to brain damage that area of the brain. This causes the sensory inputs to change. The stroke damaged the connection between the brain and other body parts. This disconnection hinders various motor functions. The loss of sensory inputs is the main reason of needle pricking sensation on the skin.
Certain Medicines can cause needle pricking sensation on skin surface
Various medicines are also responsible for needle pricking sensation on the skin. Some of these medicines belong to chemotherapy HIV some antibiotics and anti-seizure drugs. Some psychotic drugs are also responsible for tingling sensation on the skin.
These drugs cause needle pricking sensation because they are involved in nerve damage or cut the blood flow to that certain parts. Irritated or damaged nerve ending make a loss of sensory and motor functions. These drugs also affect sensory inputs from the brain to different body parts. This change in coordination of body and brain causes needle pricking sensation on the skin. You may also feel hot with cold skin.
Multiple sclerosis is a serious illness of the nervous system. In this disease, our immune system attack the protective layer of nerves called myelin. The destruction of myelin causes disturbance in the connection of neurons. This inability to connect the neurons is responsible for disabilities in the human body.
Multiple sclerosis is another reason of needle pricking sensation on the skin. Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis might feel numbness and needle pricking sensation on the skin. This needle pricking sensation cause nerve irritation in that area where you feel the tingling sensation on the skin. This medical condition may even cause severe nerve damage which is responsible for numbness on skin. This needle pricking sensation is not an indication that your multiple sclerosis is getting worse.
Pregnant ladies also feel needle pricking sensation more frequently. They feel this sensation on the skin for the whole pregnancy sensation. These sensations get worse in the last trimester. These sensations in pregnant ladies are mainly due to weight gain during pregnancy. Water gain is another possible reason for this needle pricking sensation on the skin.
This weight gain a water gain causes the nerve to damage and swelling in feet legs and hands. The damaged nerve and swelling are responsible for needle pricking sensation on the skin.
Neuropathy is caused due to seer nerve damage. Neuropathy can occur at any part of the body like hands feet and legs. The most common cause of neuropathy is diabetes. Diabetes is a related level of glucose in the blood. This increase in glucose level if untreated can cause severe nerve damage.
Patients suffering from hyperglycemia can suffer from needle pricking sensation in feet and hands. Proper glycemic control can prevent this needle pricking sensation on the skin. Neuropathy can e treated with proper diet and exercise. Other common causes of neuropathy are kidney liver disease and any injury or trauma.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which there is insufficient secretion of thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone is an important hormone that is released from the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism is responsible for needle pricking sensation on the skin.
This sensation is caused because hypothyroidism causes fluid retention in the body. This fluid retention cause swelling in body and tissue damage. Hypothyroidism also presses on nerves due to fluid retention. This pressure ultimately leads to neuropathy of different body parts. The neuropathy and fluid retention are the main reason behind needle pricking sensation on skin in patients suffering from hypothyroidism.
Radiculopathy is a condition in which nerve roots become damaged or pressed by some mass. Nerve irritation may be involved in this condition. Radiculopathy causes needle pricking sensation on the skin. The nerve damage in radiculopathy can be caused y many ways. Like some mass pressing nerve ending a herniated disk that apply pressure on nerves. Radiculopathy can be of two types. lumbar radiculopathy and cervical radiculopathy.
Lumbar radiculopathy is radiculopathy of the lower back of the body. This involves needle pricking sensation in legs and feet. Cervical radiculopathy involves the cervical nerve which provides sensation to upper body parts. This is responsible for needle pricking sensation in upper body parts. Radiculopathy if got severe cause le and neck pain and sometimes leg and neck weakness.
A person who is anxious for a long time or is habitual of having stress on minor issues might suffer from needle pricking sensation on the skin. Anxiety and stress causes a change in the physiological and psychological system of the body. When a person is anxious to stress response is activated in the body. This system enables the person to fight or flight this situation of fear anxiety or threat.
This stress response releases a hormone stress hormone that cuts the blood flow to less vital tissue and increase blood flow to more vital tissue. This cut off of the blood cause needle pricking sensation on the skin. The stress response also activates the sensory nervous system. The sensory neurons response is enhanced and this increased sensory response is also responsible for needle pricking sensation on the skin.
Treatment of needle pricking sensation on skin
Treatment of needle pricking sensation on the skin depends upon the underlying causes which are responsible for these situations. Needle pricking sensation is treated accordingly first of all the cause or medical condition is diagnosed then cause is treated along with these sensations. Following are some of the possible treatment of needle pricking sensation on the skin.
Rest and immobilize the area
The easy and important step in treating needle pricking sensation on the skin is to take rest and immobilize the area where you feel the sensation. Stopping all the activities which are responsible for nerve compression or damage. To take rest and put that particular area in a resting state can minimize the needle pricking sensation on the skin. This rest will allow the damaged tissue to heal.
Blood flow towards that area will be recovered during rest. To put the body part in immobilize state sometimes doctors recommend brace or splints to immobilize the hands in carpel tunnel syndrome. Splinting is best to treat pinched nerves. But immobilizing the part for too long can cause other problems to tissues.
Physical therapy is the best option to treat needle pricking sensation on the skin. Physical therapy improves muscle movement and hence speeds up tissue and nerve healing. Physical therapy also improves blood circulation in areas where you feel needle pricking sensation on the skin.
For physical therapy, you can consult your physiotherapist that can recommend you some suitable exercises and moves. This exercise can help you treat all these tingling sensations. You can try aerobic exercises for at least thirty minutes or some stretching exercises for ten to fifteen minutes daily. Aerobic exercises include walking and swimming.
Treat underlying disease
Another important factor in treating paresthesia is to treat the disease which is responsible for these sensations. Like diabetes stroke and multiple sclerosis are the main causes of needle pricking sensation on the skin. Proper diagnosis of a disease that is causing a tingling sensation and then treating these diseases can prevent needle pricking sensation on the skin.
Severe needle pricking sensation is often treated with medicine. These medicines include some over the counter NSAIDs or some steroids. To treat needle pricking sensation due to neuropathy is treated with pregabalin. Medicines are used when rest and physical therapy fail to treat this sensation. Some psychotic drugs may also be recommended if these sensations are due to stress. You can also use AHA and BHA for better results.
When medication too is unable to treat needle pricking sensation then surgery is performed to remove the part which is pressing the nerve like any ligament herniated disk or any tissue.
This surgery is performed by some professional surgeon. Surgery is also recommended by your surgeon. You should consult your doctor if prevention and medication both fail to treat these sensations.
Tips to prevent needle pricking sensation on the skin
Besides treating the illness and other causes which are responsible for sensation there are some tips which are useful in preventing these sensations.
Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for a long time and avoid all that position and body posture that can put pressure on nerves.
Avoid injuries that can cause this tingling sensation on the skin. Good position and posture of the body while dealing with heavy objects can prevent the occurrence of this needle pricking sensation on the skin.
People suffering from neuropathy due to hyperglycemia can prevent these sensations by maintaining their blood glucose level. These patients should eat a healthy and less caloric diet. Regular physical activity is a key factor in preventing these sensations.
Avoid doing repetitive movements and try to take a break during these movements.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle and increase the intake of food containing vitamin B12. Avoid excessive use Jalapeno as it can burn your skin.
Keep yourself calm and stress-free by doing some regular walk and meditation.