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- Paresthesias are skin sensations, such as burning, numbness, itching, hyperesthesia (increased sensitivity) or tingling, with no apparent physical cause (idiopathic). The most common locations of paresthesias are the hands, arms, legs and feet, although paresthesias can occur anywhere on the body.
There are many possible causes of paresthesia - too many to list here. Some examples include:
- Physical nerve damage.
- Inadequate blood supply to the affected region.
- Pressure on the spinal nerves (e.g. herniated disk, tumors).
- Carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive stress injuries.
- Various long-term medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, underactive thyroid, migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis).
- Transient ischemic attack (temporary and focal loss of cerebral function, "ministrokes").
- Stroke ("brain attack").
- Certain medications.
- Toxic action on nerves, such as that from lead, mercury or arsenic. See also poison and neurotoxin.
A common cause of unexplained skin irritation is getting chemicals on yourself without realizing it. For example, if a small amount of a substance was spilled and not cleaned up, someone might later rest their arm or hands on the spill area and be exposed without realizing it. In addition, those who are sensitized (allergic) or have chemical hypersensitivity can exhibit symptoms even on exposure to trace amounts of certain subtances.
If you notice any of the symptoms of paresthesia or have other unexplained medical issues, you should see your doctor for a physical examination and treatment.
- "The Official Patient's Sourcebook on Paresthesia: A Revised and Updated Directory for the Internet Age", Paperback, 120 pages, 2002. Estimated price $28.95. Info and/or order .
- "Paresthesia: A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, And Annotated Research Guide To Internet References", Paperback, 96 pages, 2004. Estimated price $28.95. Info and/or order .
- "Pick Your Poison: How Our Mad Dash to Chemical Utopia is Making Lab Rats of Us All", Hardcover, 256 pages, 2011. Estimated price $17.13. Info and/or order ILPI recommended.
See also: Irritant, sensitizer, urticaria
Additional definitions from Google and OneLook.
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