Skin burning – causes, treatment

Burning skin

Skin burning is a symptom of a disease or hypersensitivity reaction of the body to a particular triggering substance. It can be accompanied by visual skin irritation or occur without visible further symptoms. Depending on the cause, the symptoms can only occur for a short time or last longer.

What is skin burning?

By skin burning, sometimes also called “stinging”, physicians understand a burning or stinging sensation on the skin.

This can occur in a wide variety of parts of the body and is usually perceived as very unpleasant. In many cases, no rash or redness is visible in the areas described as burning, which is why those affected sometimes have to put up with the accusation that they would only imagine the symptoms.

Under certain circumstances, however, it can also lead to skin redness or small pimples, which accompany the skin burning. Depending on the cause of the symptoms, they can either occur spontaneously and subside on their own after a short time or persist over a longer period of time.


The causes of skin burning can be diverse. The so-called “staging”, which is not accompanied by optical reactions of the skin, is still a mystery to scientists, because the exact reasons for these complaints have not yet been determined.

However, it may be caused by lactic acid, which is also contained in many cosmetics. If the burning skin manifests itself together with a rash or redness, it may have been caused, for example, by an allergic reaction to a certain substance.

Lyme disease or fibromyalgia can also cause skin burning, as well as nerve inflammation. A food intolerance can also manifest itself by a burning or stinging sensation on the skin.

Diseases with this symptom


Diagnosis & course

Under certain circumstances, skin burning can be diagnosed by the attending physician just by looking at the affected part of the body. This is the case if there is also redness or other signs of inflammation or similar reactions on the skin.

An allergy and blood test can be used to determine the reason for this. If the skin burning manifests itself without visual accompanying symptoms, it can be diagnosed with the help of the already mentioned lactic acid or the humectant propylene glycol.

Even if skin burning often has rather harmless causes, it is extremely unpleasant for the person concerned. If there is a disease such as Lyme disease or fibromyalgia behind it, medical treatment must be initiated, otherwise it can lead to a significant deterioration of the general condition.


Burning skin is associated with an unpleasant body sensation. A malaise sets in and the general mood sinks. Physical contact is tried to avoid. This can cause family or partnership problems. Conflicts and irritability are possible. Often, in addition to their own physical complaints, those affected are confronted with accusations of imagination or exaggeration.

If the skin burning is based on an intolerance of used cosmetics, these should be disposed of. However, food intolerances may also be present. Without an allergy test, the search for the causative substance in everyday life can lead to a stress experience. If the substance is known, it may lead to a necessary change in the entire food intake.

With a nutritionist, alternatives are then worked out, which can nevertheless lead to a loss of a free attitude to life. This is especially true when a lifelong diet becomes necessary. This is usually the case when the burning skin is triggered by a restriction of the functioning of the digestive organs. If it comes to taking painkillers to alleviate the perception of skin burning, the individual side effects of the medication must be considered.

In addition, the burning of the skin occurs again when the effect of the painkillers wears off. A permanent intake of painkillers can cause a burden and functional limitation of the organism. In addition, there is a risk of drug dependence.

When to go to the doctor?

Skin burning is perceived as annoying or painful, depending on its intensity and personal impression. Skin burning is a symptom – either due to a disease or a hypersensitivity reaction to a particular substance. Skin burning can last short or long. Invisible irritation may or may not be visible on the skin. Whether a doctor’s visit is necessary for skin burning depends on the cause or situation.

When burning the skin as an allergic reaction to a certain substance, for example to ingredients of cosmetics, a rash often occurs in addition to the burning sensation on the skin. Here, it makes sense to consult a or allergist in order to determine the incompatible substance and to do without it in the future. The same applies to a food intolerance, in which a nutritionist is recommended in addition to an allergist.

Skin burning can also be due to nerve inflammation, fibromyalgia or Lyme disease and is therefore a case for the neurologist. Furthermore, a gastroenterologist should be considered for clarification, as damaged digestive organs can also lead to skin burning. The serves as a guide for the course to the right specialist practice, who gains initial insights through his anamnesis and blood tests.

Treatment & Therapy

Skin burning can be treated in a variety of ways. If it was caused by an , the triggering substance should be avoided. These can be cosmetics as well as food.

Since the latter in particular can also damage the digestive organs if they are permanently irritated by the intake of the triggering substances, it is advisable to follow an individually tailored Diet . If the skin is generally sensitive, only appropriate cosmetics should be used. Here you can consult your dermatologist about which remedies are suitable. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics until all symptoms, including burning skin, have subsided.

Once diagnosed, fibromyalgia cannot be cured and can only be treated with Painkillers and relaxation exercises, which will help alleviate the many possible symptoms. In the case of nerve inflammation, antibiotics and painkillers as well as physiotherapy exercises are used to relieve the sometimes severe symptoms.

Outlook & Forecast

In the case of skin burns, the further consequences and complications depend heavily on the severity of the burn. In most cases, there will be redness or a rash on the affected area. However, skin burning can also occur without any external symptoms.

If the burning sensation occurs due to an allergy, it can be considered harmless and will go away on its own. Even in the case of intolerance, treatment by a doctor is not necessary. The symptom disappears when the body has completely broken down the triggering substance.

Burning of the skin makes most people uncomfortable and therefore avoid touching it. This can lead to problems and conflicts with other people and especially with your partner. In extreme cases, lack of sleep, stress and burnout can also occur. Treatment is usually through medication or a change in diet. In most cases it leads to success. If the triggering preparations are avoided, the burning sensation does not come back.

If the burning skin occurs after using a cosmetic care product, this product must be discontinued immediately. The skin burning then disappears on its own after a few hours or days and does not lead to any further complaints. orpimples may also form in the affected area.


Since the causes of skin burning can be manifold and have not yet been fully researched, prevention is difficult in most cases. The sparing use of skin-friendly cosmetics is only one way to relieve the skin and possibly prevent skin burning.

If the unpleasant burning sensation occurs several times and/or lasts for a longer period of time, a Dermatologist should be consulted. After an examination, he can make a diagnosis and treat more serious underlying diseases either excluded or appropriately.

You can do that yourself

If acute Sunburn is the cause of the burning pain on the skin, the affected areas should be cooled with ice cubes or a cold washcloth. Cooling foam sprays from the pharmacy are also very beneficial. In addition, the affected skin area must be protected from direct sunlight until the sunburn has subsided and a Sunscreen with a high sun protection factor must be used in the future.

If the skin burn is the result of a chemical Burnwith an acid or a base, the affected person should immediately clean the area with clear water and then consult a doctor. In the case of contact allergies, the allergen must first be identified and the irritant then avoided. When the symptoms appear for the first time, new Cosmetics , detergents or items of clothing are possible triggers. Food intolerances can also lead to redness and burning pain on the skin. Basically, the same behavior applies here as with contact allergies. Antihistamines help against the strong burning sensation and the itching that is often associated with it. Ointments with the appropriate active ingredients are available over the counter in pharmacies.

In summer, burning skin pain is often due to insect bites or contact with nettles. In the case of insect bites, it is first necessary to look for a sting and, if necessary, remove it. Subsequently, ice cubes relieve the pain. With severe itching, antihistamines will help. Skin irritation due to nettles is best treated with cold water. Subsequently, an itch-relieving ointment can be applied.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.