Touch Sensitivity

What Causes Increased Sensitivity To Touch?

Increased sensitivity to touch can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'critical'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose increased sensitivity to touch, we could:
  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "increased sensitivity to touch" as a symptom.  Here are three possibilities:
  • Neuritis/Neuropathy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
herpes type II
having had a few sexual partners
inability to tell hot from cold
recent loss of sense of touch
loss of sensation
frequent unexplained fevers
being at risk of HIV/AIDS
blood transfusions
loss of sense of touch
black/brown fingernails
regularly feeling unusually cold
frequent stools
... and more than 30 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of increased sensitivity to touch:
Cause Probability Status
HIV/AIDS 93% Confirm
Guillain-Barre Syndrome 25% Unlikely
Neuritis/Neuropathy 2% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate unusual skin sensations, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you suffer from tenderness to touch that is made worse by (for example) bedsheets, socks or tight-fitting shoes? This increased sensitivity to pain is known as hyperalgesia.
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No
→ Yes, somewhat
→ Yes, I have extreme sensitivity to touch
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no increased sensitivity to touch, increased sensitivity to touch or extreme sensitivity to touch, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Guillain-Barre Syndrome

In some cases, pain may be so severe so as to limit walking.  Patients with symptoms limited to the feet and ankles may observe similar symptoms in the fingertips; as the symptoms extend to the knees, they may also extend to the wrists.  Only rarely do these symptoms extend above the knees.