Why Is My Skin Sensitive to Touch All of a Sudden?

The skin is the largest organ in your body, so if you have problems with your skin being sensitive, it could affect your daily activities. What does it mean when the skin becomes so sensitive to touch all of a sudden?

5 main reasons why your skin is sensitive to touch are as follows:

  1. Skin conditions (shingles and allodynia)
  2. Allergy to skin products
  3. Hormonal imbalance
  4. Drastic climate change
  5. Anxiety and stress

Read on to learn more about why your skin is suddenly sensitive to touch, the causes, and how you can remedy this issue.

Why Is My Skin Sensitive to Touch All of a Sudden?

why is my skin sensitive to touch all of a sudden

The skin can sometimes be sensitive to touch due to various skin conditions, allergy to skin products, a hormonal imbalance, drastic climate change, or anxiety and stress.

To understand more why these conditions cause skin sensitivity, let’s look at each in turn:

1. Skin Conditions (Shingles and Allodynia)

Skin conditions can be the primary cause of your sudden sensitivity to touch. Many different kinds of skin conditions affect many people and their daily lives.

That’s why if you think that you have any of these skin conditions, it is advisable to go to your doctor to get diagnosed correctly to receive the right treatment.

In this case, you have to consult a certified dermatologist as these doctors are skin specialists.

What Is Shingles?

The varicella-zoster virus (VZV) brings about shingles. A virus that causes chickenpox too. People who have had chickenpox may retain the virus when it enters the nervous system. It could remain there dormant for several years and become reactivated to cause shingles. [1]

This could occur more commonly in older persons and those with a weakened immune system.

These most susceptible individuals should stay away from infected people as the blisters can cause infection. When this happens, chickenpox will develop first, and then shingles could appear later in life.

You can find the blisters anywhere in your body, but it is often seen around the torso.

Most Common Symptoms of Shingles

  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Skin becomes prickly
  • Irritating rashes
  • Blisters with fluid
  • Red rashes with accompanying pain
  • Numbness or tingling

You may also experience fever, headache, or sudden weakness. If the symptoms worsen, you should visit the nearest doctor to be treated immediately, especially if you are old and have a weak immune system.

Treatment

After the doctor confirms the diagnosis of shingles, the most common treatment is antiviral medicines. Examples of these are famciclovir, acyclovir, and valacyclovir. The doctor may give analgesics to alleviate pain and some medications for itchiness.

Prevention

You can prevent shingle infections by immunizing yourself against VZV. Also, don’t get near people infected with the virus. If a family member is infected, you must cover the blisters to prevent infecting other family members.

What Is Allodynia?

Allodynia is a condition where you experience pain from a simple touch that doesn’t normally cause pain, such as a light touch or tap on your skin. Even a slight tug to the hair can feel very painful.

skin is sensitive to the touch

Fibromyalgia is commonly associated with migraine, fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, and postherpetic neuralgia. [2] Any of these conditions may be the cause of allodynia.

Most Common Symptoms of Allodynia

  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Unable to concentrate well
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Sudden changes in vision
  • Motion sickness

Treatment

The doctor has to perform laboratory tests and a physical exam to determine your condition’s root cause. Once the doctor treats the underlying cause, the symptoms and your sudden skin sensitivity would disappear.

You can take over the counter analgesics; however, it is still advisable to consult your doctor further to analyze your sudden skin sensitivity.

Prevention

Have an annual medical checkup to ensure that you discover any disease that is starting to invade your body. As the cliché goes: prevention is better than cure.

2. Allergy to Skin Products

Makeup products can cause your skin to be sensitive and reactive suddenly. This is common for people with sensitive skin. You could perform the skin patch test first to avoid allergic reactions.

In cases when you have already applied a large amount of the product, and your skin becomes suddenly sensitive to touch, or allergy occurs, consult a skin specialist at the nearest health facility.

Treatment

The physician may prescribe anti-allergenic drugs, such as Celestamine, Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, or Clarinex, to ease the symptoms.

The doctor will provide instructions on how to take them based on your weight, age, and condition. Although you can buy some of the drugs over the counter, you still need to consult a physician.

Prevention

You have to perform the patch test first before using any makeup or skin product. You can do this by applying a small amount of the skin product on a small portion of your skin.

Observe the area for at least 30 minutes. If the skin turns red or becomes inflamed, you’re allergic to its ingredients. Please don’t use it. If you don’t have any skin reaction, you can use the product safely.

3. Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalance can cause your skin to be sensitive to touch all of a sudden. It can also cause the skin to get inflamed and become itchy. An example of a hormonal imbalance is during a woman’s menopausal period.

The estrogen and progesterone concentrations of these hormones are not proportional during menopause. This hormonal imbalance will cause other symptoms to appear, such as mood swings, hot flashes, and sensitive skin.

Treatment

Consult your gynecologist for hormone therapy. Once the hormone balance is restored, the symptoms will disappear.

Prevention

Have an annual checkup with your gynecologist. This way, you can quickly treat the hormonal imbalance early on.

4. Drastic Climate Change

A sudden change in the climate and humidity of a place can contribute to your skin’s sudden sensitivity to touch. This is only temporary and not life-threatening.

Treatment

If you are in a cold place, you have to warm yourself up by drinking a hot beverage. Cover yourself up and turn off the air-conditioner and turn on the heat and vice versa.

Prevention

If your skin is sensitive to climate changes, avoid staying in places with extreme temperatures. Adjust your clothing to maintain your body temperature. Wear thick jackets and clothing in a cold climate, and stay in air-conditioned rooms during hot weather.

5. Anxiety and Stress

The brain is the most powerful organ in your body because it can dictate how your body reacts. If the brain does not recognize the stimulus, your body will not respond.

That is what happens when you are unconscious. No matter what people do to your body, there is no response because your brain is not working.

Consequently, when you’re a pessimist, the brain gives in to stress, and you will react to the situation negatively. Your mind will then transmit this emotion to your organs, and you become anxious and stressed.

During this situation, your skin can become sensitive to touch because of anxiety and stress all of a sudden.

Treatment

Take a breather. Spend your time in a quiet place, sit down, close your eyes, and relax. Inhale deeply through your mouth. Count 1,001 to 1,006, and then exhale forcibly through your mouth. Repeat the procedure ten times, or until your breathing becomes stable.

If your skin remains sensitive after this relaxation activity, you may need to consult a physician. The cause may be an underlying disease in your body that just became active.

Prevention

Remember that you can manage your anxiety and stress using your mind. Have a positive frame of mind so that you can perceive failures as stepping stones to your success.

You would stop being anxious and stressed because you know everything will eventually settle down. Start being an optimist today, and you would reduce your anxiety and stress significantly.

Why is my skin sensitive to touch all of a sudden? The skin can become sensitive to touch due to anxiety and stress, skin conditions, allergy to skin products, a hormonal imbalance, or drastic climate change.

Next, let’s look at the different skin types to know more about why your skin is sensitive all of a sudden.

Five Different Skin Types

Skin types can play a significant role in how and why your skin is suddenly sensitive to touch. Thus, it is essential to know your skin type to take better care of it. You can avoid using products that may damage your skin.

skin is sensitive to touch

1. Normal Skin

Normal skin is in between being too dry or too oily. It is a skin type that does not need any special care. It is soft and reflects a clean appearance. You can know your skin type by observing whether it is too tight or too oily, especially on your face’s T-zone area.

2. Dry Skin

Many factors can cause dry skin. One of them is the climate where you are currently residing. Low humidity and humid places increased the risk of dry skin. The dry effects of external factors do not usually last long.

However, some people tend to inherit dry skin from their parents. If it is hereditary, it would be a lifelong condition. You have to moisturize your skin daily and hydrate yourself adequately.

Having dry skin can cause other skin disorders, such as eczema. You could also be more prone to other skin infections.

Dry skin is a common reason for having sensitive skin all of a sudden. Dry skin is very sensitive to external factors. Ensure to keep it well moisturized to prevent it from becoming sensitive.

3. Oily Skin

An excessive amount of fat or sebum produced by the sebaceous glands can cause oily skin. Genes or hormones could also cause the condition. You have to reduce your fat intake and wash your face more often to reduce face oil.

You can also use facial astringents to remove excess oil from your face. Oily skin can cause acne and pimples; hence, you have to get rid of it. However, take note that an ample amount of oil is needed for good skin health.

4. Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin, as the name implies, is delicate skin. It is more prone to acne, irritation, redness, and itching. This is, of course, the type of skin that will be sensitive all of a sudden.

Having sensitive skin means that you need to take care of it more, as your skin could react negatively to new skin products. Always test a small area of your skin with any skin product you plan to use before actually using it.

5. Combination Skin

Combination skin can be a combo of both oily and dry skin, but the location of each may vary. An example is having an oily T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) while the rest of your face, such as the cheeks, usually is dry.

Now that you have an idea of what your skin type is and the usual causes of skin sensitivity, you could probably answer your question, “Why is my skin so sensitive all of a sudden?”.

Dry and sensitive skin increases your risk of having sensitive skin all of a sudden. Your best option is to keep your skin healthy at all times.

Conclusion – Why Is My Skin So Sensitive to Touch All of a Sudden?

Your skin can become sensitive to touch all of a sudden for the following reasons:

  1. Anxiety and stress
  2. Skin conditions (shingles and allodynia)
  3. Allergy to skin products
  4. Hormonal imbalance
  5. Drastic climate change

You have to find out which condition is causing your skin’s sudden sensitivity. You can do this by consulting a skin specialist or a licensed physician to determine your skin sensitivity’s root cause.

Rest assured that once the doctor finds out the root cause of your sudden skin sensitivity and treats you correctly, the symptoms will disappear.