ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have a tender skin feeling on my arm and hands?

Question

Why do I have a tender skin feeling on my arm and hands?

For the last day I have been feeling a weird tender feeling on my skin. It feels tight and feels like a sunburn. It isn't any extreme pain just weird and uncomfortable. It hurts more when my clothes or a towel rub against my hands or arms. When I take a hot shower the pain goes away a little for a minute or so they comes back... What could this be? My arms and hands look completely normal. I think I have had this before.

Answer

Thank you for this interesting question. Strange sensations of the skin or another body part can sometimes be described as paresthesias. It is hard to know where these come from in many situations, and that is why a careful history and physical exam are so important. These things can provide you with the information that your doctor needs to be able to make some educated guesses about what could be causing these sensations. From there, it may be appropriate to do some additional testing to validate or confirm the hypothesis that you and your doctor have reached. On other occasions, some doctors will feel like treatment may be indicated before a sure diagnosis has been reached. This can happen either because the treatment is so benign (has few side effects, etc) or because the possible cause of the symptoms could be so serious that waiting for a sure diagnosis could be risky. Alternatively, the testing could be dangerous, expensive, etc. To help you in this situation, your doctor will be able to speak with you in more detail. Please speak with your doctor to determine what additional information is needed to help you with these symptoms.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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