Dysesthesia: Everything You Need to Know

Dysesthesia: Everything You Need to Know

What is dysesthesia and how does it affect you?

The central nervous system causes dysesthesia, which is a sort of chronic pain (CNS). It's often linked to multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic disease that damages the central nervous system, although it can also be a symptom of other illnesses.

Burning, electric shock, or a general tightening around the body are common sensations associated with dysesthesia. The legs, feet, arms, and hands are the most commonly affected areas, however it can affect any portion of the body.

What does it feel like to be in pain?

Dysesthesia can range from moderate to severe, and symptoms may include:

  1. aching or throbbing
  2. skin crawling
  3. burning or stinging
  4. shooting, stabbing, or tearing pain
  5. electrical shock-like sensations

These sensations could be constant or simply appear on occasion. Sensations may differ depending on the type of dysesthesia you're dealing with.

Different types of dysesthesia

Dyesthesia can be classified into numerous forms, including scalp, cutaneous, and occlusal. Not all cases of dysesthesia, however, fit into these categories.

Dysesthesia of the scalp

Pain, burning, stinging, or itching on or under the scalp are all symptoms of scalp dysesthesia, commonly known as burning scalp syndrome. There is usually no obvious rash, flaking, or discomfort.

Dysesthesia of the skin

When your skin is touched, you will experience cutaneous dysesthesia, which is characterised by a feeling of discomfort.

Anything from clothing to a moderate wind can cause the symptoms, which can range from mild tingling to severe agony.

Occlusal dysesthesia is a type of occlusion dysesthesia

Occlusal dysesthesia (OD), commonly known as phantom bite syndrome, is pain in the mouth caused by biting that has no apparent explanation.

The underlying aetiology of OD remains unknown. It's sometimes identified as a psychiatric problem, but it's also linked to jaw misalignment.

Dysesthesia: Everything You Need to Know

Hyperalgesia vs. dysesthesia vs. paresthesia

It's easy to mix up dysesthesia with paresthesia or hyperalgesia, which are both symptoms of MS.

Numbness and tingling, "skin crawling," or a "pins and needles" sensation are all examples of paresthesia.

Hyperalgesia is a term that describes heightened sensitivity to painful stimuli.

While the terms dysesthesia and paresthesia have different definitions, some people believe dysesthesia is a kind of paresthesia. In some circumstances, the terms may be used interchangeably.


Nerve injury is the cause of dysesthesia. When nerves are injured, they can transmit confused signals to the brain, causing strange (and frequently unpleasant) sensations.

Even if your leg isn't wounded, you may experience unpleasant sensations in it. It's caused by a breakdown in communication between your brain and the nerves in your leg, which triggers a pain response. And the anguish is palpable.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the body's

More than half of people with MS have pain as a significant symptom, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and roughly one in five persons who report persistent pain describe it as a searing ache that predominantly affects their legs and feet.

MS causes scar tissue, or lesions, to form in the brain and spine. Signals between the brain and the rest of the body are disrupted by these lesions.

The MS embrace, so named because it feels like your chest is being squeezed, is a typical kind of dysesthesia reported by patients with MS. It's a crushing or vice-like grasp that causes pain and tension in the chest and ribs.

Other reasons a person with MS could experience odd sensations or pain include:

  1. spasticity (muscle tightness)
  2. injection site reaction or side effects of medications, including disease-modifying medications
  3. bladder infection

Of course, your symptoms may have nothing to do with MS. They could be the result of an injury or another underlying problem.

Dyesthesia, like other MS symptoms, can come and go. It can also go away completely without therapy. Dyesthesia, like many other MS symptoms, will become less frequent if you and your doctor discover the proper treatment.

Relationship to other conditions

Dysesthesia isn't just a symptom of MS. Other conditions that might produce dysesthesia and influence the nervous system include:

  1. diabetes, which is caused by prolonged high glucose levels causing nerve damage.
  2. The immune system attacks and damages a component of the peripheral nervous system in Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder.
  3. Lyme disease, which can induce symptoms similar to MS in the brain, such as itchiness and burning sensations.
  4. As a result of the peripheral sensory and motor nerve abnormalities caused by HIV,
  5. When tingling and discomfort occur around lesions, it is called shingles.


There are a number of possible therapies, but finding the best one for you may need some trial and error.

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, over-the-counter pain medications including acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin) are ineffective in treating neuropathic pain like dysesthesia.

The following drugs are commonly used to treat dysesthesia:

  1. Gabapentin (Neurontin), pregabalin (Lyrica), carbamazepine (Tegretol), and phenytoin (Dilantin) are anti-seizure medications that affect nerve activity.
  2. Antidepressants include amitriptyline (Elavil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and desipramine (Norpramin) can alter your body's pain response.
  3. lidocaine or capsaicin-containing topical pain relievers
  4. Tramadol (Ultram, ConZip, Ryzolt) is an opioid that is rarely prescribed and is mainly reserved for those who are in excruciating pain.
  5. For persons with MS, hydroxyzine (Atarax) is an antihistamine that relieves itching and burning feelings.

Your doctor will start you on the lowest dose possible and gradually increase it as needed.

Before starting a new medicine, make sure to ask your doctor about all of the possible short- and long-term side effects. Make sure they know about all of your prescriptions, including supplements, to avoid dangerous pharmaceutical interactions.

If dysesthesia leads you to scratch your skin to the point of breaking it, they may prescribe a topical therapy.

Natural treatments

The following natural therapies, when paired with medication, may provide some relief from chronic pain associated with dysesthesia:

  1. compressing the afflicted area with a warm or cold compress.
  2. Compression socks, stockings, or gloves should be worn.
  3. utilising an aloe or calamine ointment to conduct moderate stretching exercises
  4. Taking an Epsom salts and colloidal oats bath before bedtime.
  5. Acorus calamus (sweet flag), Crocus sativus (saffron), and Ginkgo biloba are some of the herbs used.

If you want to use herbs and supplements to aid with dysesthesia, talk to your doctor first to be sure the supplements won't conflict with any medications you're taking.

When should you see a doctor?

Dysesthesia that persists can affect your life in a variety of ways, including:

  1. either the skin or the scalp Scratching or rubbing can cause irritation or infection.
  2. Sleep deprivation causes weariness during the day.
  3. due to pain or distraction, inability to complete daily tasks
  4. Isolation is a result of avoiding social interactions.
  5. Irritability, anxiety, or depression are all symptoms of depression.

You should consult your primary care physician or a neurologist if your dysesthesia symptoms are interfering with your daily life. Other potential sources of your pain should be investigated and ruled out.

Dysesthesia does not necessarily necessitate medical intervention. However, if you seek assistance, you have a number of options for managing your condition and improving your overall quality of life.

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