Skin burns


Burning skin means a burning and sometimes stinging feeling on the skin. It can affect very different regions of the skin and can be felt differently. Burning skin is a symptom that is often not associated with external changes in the skin, such as reddening. You rarely look at the person affected. Sometimes, however, changes to the skin such as pimples, redness or other rashes also occur. Burning skin is a very individual sensation and can therefore only be objectified with great difficulty. However, that does not mean that those affected do not actually feel them. Burning sensations can be traced back to nerve damage, for example. The duration of the skin burning sensation and the severity of the symptoms vary greatly and depend largely on the cause, among other things. It can last for a short period and then stop. However, there are also long-term discomforts in some people.

Causes of Burning Skin

There are many different causes for a burning sensation in the skin. Intolerance to care products, creams or perfumes are possible triggers for a burning sensation in the skin. Furthermore, peelings and shaves can cause skin irritation that burns and hurts. Cosmetics are often the cause of skin burning on the face. Injuries to the skin are also possible causes of a burning sensation. In addition to diseases and damage to the skin, nerve damage in particular can lead to a burning sensation. Nerves are important for the sensitivity of our skin. Damage to sensitive nerves can lead to a loss of sensitivity, but also to painful, burning and stabbing sensations. Possible causes for such nerve damage are, for example, diabetes mellitus, nerve entrapment or borreliosis.Pinching of nerves in the area of ​​the spine not only causes back pain, as many people believe, but also affects the sensitivity in the supply area of ​​the affected nerve. This can cause the skin to burn. Shingles also causes burning and painful sensations that typically affect segments of the skin. Aside from these so-called somatic causes, psychosomatic causes should also be considered. A psychosomatic illness can sometimes cause severe complaints that greatly impair the quality of life.

Read more about this under

  • How do I recognize diabetes?
  • Symptoms of Lyme Disease
  • Shingles

Skin burns after shaving

A lot of people experience burning sensation after shaving. There are various reasons for this. Shaving is irritating to the skin, especially if it is not done gently. The smallest wounds and even larger cuts can result, which cause pain or burn. But even a proper shave can lead to a burning sensation, which usually disappears after a few hours. Care products such as shaving foam, shower gel or creams that are applied after or during shaving can irritate sensitive skin. Skin irritation from care products is particularly possible if there are small wounds in the skin. If the skin burn always occurs after shaving and using certain products, it is advisable to leave them out. Particularly gentle products should be used for sensitive skin. In addition, you can prepare the skin for shaving by taking a warm shower. Don't shave against the grain. This leads to additional skin irritation and promotes a burning sensation.

Direct cooling of the skin after shaving also helps against the burning sensation. Furthermore, sharp blades should always be used for shaving. Do not use the blades more often than recommended by the manufacturer and make sure that they are clean to avoid skin irritation.

Read more at: Skin itches after shaving

Skin burns when showering

Burning skin while showering can have various causes. If the entire skin is burning or itching, there may be an allergy to products such as shampoos or the shower gel used. One way to find out is to change or leave out the shower gel. An allergy test is also possible.

Another possible cause is the irritation of small skin injuries, such as those caused by shaving. However, such skin burning would be limited to specific areas of the body that had previously been shaved and would not affect the entire skin.

Ultimately, hypersensitivity of nerves can also lead to the skin reacting to an actually non-painful process such as showering with a burning sensation. It would then be typical, however, that the burning sensation also occurs in other situations that theoretically should not cause pain.

Read more about: Skin itches after showering

Skin burns after a peeling

Most people find peeling to be very beneficial. People with very sensitive skin or intolerance to the ingredients in the peeling may complain that the skin burns. Previously damaged skin, for example after a shave, can also burn after a peeling. Medicinal fruit acid peelings, which are used, among other things, for acne, often lead to a burning sensation on the skin. This is because the top layer of skin is removed by the peeling and the skin is sensitive to the fruit acids.

Concomitant symptoms

Accompanying symptoms of a burning sensation are, for example, pain, a stinging or even itching. With nerve damage, loss of sensitivity and numbness can also occur. Infectious diseases such as shingles can be associated with a fever and a deterioration in general well-being.

Skin changes can also occur. Shingles typically manifests itself as small blisters and reddening of the skin.

Read more about this at: Shingles

For example, if you have an allergy, you can see small wheals. Inflammation of the skin often shows redness and swelling. Depending on the cause and underlying disease, special accompanying symptoms are possible. Patients with a fibromyalgia syndrome, which also leads to a burning sensation in the skin, can also have symptoms such as sleep disorders, a depressive mood, dry mouth, increased sweating and irritable bowel syndrome.

Read more about this on our main page Fibromyalgia

Skin burns, but nothing can be seen

There is a burning sensation in the skin not necessarily from visible skin changes accompanied. That's because the cause of the burning sensation doesn't necessarily lie in the skin. Burning sensations can for example express a so-called Polyneuropathy be. This means that damage to sensitive nerves leads to the complaints. However, such damage is not visible from the outside. Another example of a cause that cannot be seen from the outside is that Lyme disease. Burning skin may also occur in the course of this disease. Also one Nerve entrapment, like for example with a Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs is a possible cause of the skin burning sensation without being visible from the outside.

Skin burns and itches

Itching and burning of the skin can be caused by a so-called Urticaria occur. The urticaria is popularly often called "Hives" known. A distinction is made between an acute and a chronic form. A acute urticaria usually disappears after a few days and is caused, for example, by an allergic reaction. Other triggers are cold, warmth, pressure or even stress. Acute urticaria lasts for a maximum of six weeks. A chronic urticaria however, it can recur over a long period of time and lead to considerable psychological stress. It is possible that behind chronic urticaria there is a Autoimmune disease hides. Urticaria is treated with cortisol and so-called antihistamines. In chronic urticaria, treatment of the underlying disease, if found, is the focus.

Skin burns and stings

Stinging of the skin may be accompanied by a burning sensation. The skin burn is a lot anyway individual sensationso that some people may also experience a stinging, slight pain, or tingling sensation. An exact cause cannot be narrowed down by an accompanying sting alone. In principle, a Skin disease exist. However, it can also be a neurological cause stuck behind the burning and stinging. An example of such a disease would be Polyneuropathy in diabetes mellitus.

According to location

Burning skin on the thigh

A burning sensation in the thigh can be caused by a condition called meralgia paraesthetica. The symptoms of this disease are caused by an entrapment of a nerve (nervus cutaneus femoralis lateralis) under the inguinal ligament. However, damage to the nerve from medical intervention or an injury is also possible. Burning pain on the outside of the thigh is typical, and it improves when the hip joint is flexed. Other possible causes are nerve damage from diabetes mellitus or nerve entrapment in the spinal area.

Read more about this at: Meralgia paraesthetica

Burning skin on the face

Burning skin on the face can be caused by an intolerance, for example. Possible triggers are care products, cosmetics or cleaning products. An allergy, such as hay fever, also leads to a burning sensation in the face in some people affected. In the case of hay fever, the area around the eyes and nose is often affected.

Read more about this at: Symptoms of hay fever

Another cause of a burning sensation on the face is a so-called herpes zoster. This is known to many people as "shingles". A segmental appearance of the skin burning is typical. Ultimately, other nerve damage are also possible causes of skin burning on the face.

Please also read:

  • Burning in the face
  • Shingles on the face

Skin burns all over the body

There is a burning sensation all over the body very rare. For those affected there is a high level of suffering and the quality of life is clearly limited. Possible causes are Autoimmune reactions, allergies or also a psychosomatic suffering. With such pronounced symptoms, a thorough examination is essential in order to be able to alleviate the suffering.

Burning skin on the neck

One possible cause of a sore throat is one Intolerance or allergy. Care products, perfumes or creams can be used as triggers. Furthermore, nerve damage, for example by a Lyme disease come about, be responsible for a burning sensation. In order to be able to narrow down an exact cause, one must Examination of the victim respectively.


Burning skin can have very different causes and therefore does not represent a uniform diagnosis. Rather, come many different diagnoses in question. Some diseases can already be narrowed down by a close inspection of the skin. Redness indicate for example a inflammatory process down. Show Wheals on the skin is at one allergy to think. But skin burning can also be present without any skin symptoms. Allergy tests or a blood test may reveal other causes Provide information. An examination of the sugar levels is groundbreaking for a polyneuropathy in diabetes mellitus. Further examinations should also be considered if there are neurological or gastrointestinal causes.

Treatment of a burning skin

There is no general therapy for the burning of the skin, as various causes can be responsible for this symptom. Depending on the underlying cause, appropriate therapy must be given. In the case of an allergy, for example, it helps to avoid the triggering substance. Complaints about food intolerance can be improved by an adapted diet.

If the burning sensation is caused by Lyme disease, antibiotic therapy is indicated. Shingles is treated with the active ingredient acyclovir. Pain reliever medication is also prescribed.

Conventional pain relievers often do not help with a burning sensation caused by nerve damage. However, the antidepressant amitriptyline can be used against such neuropathic pain. Nerve entrapment can be treated with massage, physical therapy, or even surgery. In the case of diabetes mellitus, it is very important to control the blood sugar in order to avoid nerve damage. Psychosomatic illnesses must be countered with psychotherapeutic approaches. The use of antidepressants is also useful in some cases.


The duration of a skin burn cannot be given across the board, as it is completely various diseases and causes come into question. Burning skin caused by an allergy, for example, only lasts as long as the allergen is actually absorbed. A Nerve damagehowever, that causes a skin burning sensation several months or even years lead to discomfort. In the course of some diseases, the skin burning sensation can change in intensity.