Burning Pain and Itching

Certain types of skin rashes can cause itching and burning pain. This combination of symptoms may seem unconnected, but there is actually a very good explanation for it. Recently, it was found that itching and burning pain are sensations that arise from the same nerve cells. In fact, burns to the skin can cause intense itching while they are healing for this reason. The opposite can also happen; some rashes that itch intensely also cause pain that can feel similar to a burning sensation.

One of the best examples of this is the pain that is associated with a shingles infection. Shingles is a disease caused by the same virus that causes the chicken pox, varicella. Chicken pox is an extremely itchy, blistering rash. Although it tends to cover a smaller area of the body than chicken pox, shingles is similar. However, it can also cause severe burning nerve pain along with the itching and blistering. Shingles occurs when the varicella virus comes out of dormancy in nerve cells. The affected nerves transmit burning pain and itching sensations.

Other types of itchy rashes can be accompanied by burning pain symptoms as well. For example, eczema and psoriasis may cause intense itching, and burning pain can occur, especially if the areas are scratched raw. Eczema is more common in children, and psoriasis is more common in adults. With eczema, the itching often appears before the rash can be seen on the skin during an outbreak.

Allergic skin reactions can also cause itching and burning pain in some cases. For example, an allergic reaction caused by contact with poison ivy or poison oak can cause a severe, blistering rash. The rash is itchy and sometimes painful. Almost all people have an allergic skin reaction on contact with these allergens. Other people may be allergic or sensitive to other, less common allergens, such as latex or certain perfumes and develop an itchy, burning rash.

Another possible cause of burning pain and itching is a sexually transmitted infection. Genital herpes, for example, often causes these symptoms during an outbreak. These symptoms when they occur in the genital area can also be a sign of other sexually transmitted diseases, or a yeast infection. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should be tested by a doctor.


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