Why does my skin hurt

The largest organ in the body, the skin, is made of nerve endings that are sensitive to pressure, movement and change in temperature. Usually, touching our skin does not pain. What really causes the trauma in many cases is the pain in muscle, bone and internal organs. However, there are cases in which the skin can hurt at the slightest sense of touch. This medical condition is called Allodynia, meaning ‘other pain’.

Allodynia can be a symptom of health problems like migraine or fibromyalgia. For instance, Fibromyalgia, which is caused by repeated stress of a particular part of the body (for instance, wrist), increases the neuron response in the central nervous system. Due to over-sensitization of the nerves, the nerve receptors are not able to discern feelings of touch and misinterpret the harmful sensations as painful.

There are four main types of Allodynia: static mechanical, dynamic mechanical, location and thermal Allodynia. Mechanical Allodynia is supposed to be static when one feels pain by a light sense of touch. It tends to become dynamic when the pain happens due to rubbing of the skin. The third type, Location Allodynia, happens when pain happens in a part of the body other than the one that is being exposed to stimulation while the fourth one, Thermal Allodynia, comes into effect due to slight changes in the temperature on the affected part.

One should distinguish Allodynia from Hyperalgesia. In the case of hyperalgesia, the stimulus has to be causing pain when applied or brought in contact with the skin. For Allodynia, the stimulus is not painful. A comprehensive treatment for Fibromyalgia or migraine should bring the problem under control. In some cases, it has been that something as simple as an aspirin can do the trick. In severe cases of Allodynia, the doctor may prescribe painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to ease the situation considerably. It is also recommended to wear appropriate clothing like natural fibers that are smooth to the skin. Some of the materials that are advised include clothes made of silk, knit rayon, satin, cashmere and such.