What Causes Burning Sensations?

A burning sensation can affect specific part of the body or even all over the body and it is not a pleasant feeling at all. It can be a symptom of a number of conditions depending on the other symptoms that accompanies it. The causes can range from severe injury to sign of vascular disease. Read further for the most common underlying causes of burning sensations.


Someone who encounters an injury or great trauma may feel a burning sensation. This happens because the nerve fibers are fired up because of the traumatic event or accident.


Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain in the body specifically in areas like neck and shoulders, arms, buttocks, chest and upper back. Other symptoms may include tension headaches, migraine, burning sensations of different parts of the body, Irritable bowel syndrome and inflammation of the stomach or intestines. Fibromyalgia is also linked to anxiety and depression. However a research is done with fibromyalgia and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) patients and it resulted that Fibromyalgia can be distinguished from depression or MDD if you talk about Diffuse Noxious Inhibitory Controls (DNIC) efficacy ( Journal of Clinical Psychiatry ).

Nervous System

Burning sensation in the body may be cause by problems in the nervous system. Nerves that send message to the brain and spinal cord may be damaged and this condition is known as peripheral neuropathy. This, most of the time causes burning sensation accompanied by loss of muscle control, pain and lack of sensations. In other cases burning sensations might be brought about by neuralgia whose symptoms may include lack or loss of motor skills, numb feet, abnormal sensations and tender skin.

Spinal Disease

Burning sensations is a common symptom too for someone who suffers from radiculothopy which is a disease of the spinal nerve roots. In this instance, the burning sensation is often associated with numbness or tingling in the extremities and a pain in the butt.


This is a sexually transmitted disease that is known to cause burning sensation. Herpes zoster and Herpes simplex both are known to cause burning sensation and other symptoms. Herpes simplex other symptoms includes swollen lymph, pain in the genital area and stinging sensation in the skin. Herpes zoster other symptoms include loss of hearing in one ear, burning abdominal pain and headaches.

Vascular Diseases

Vascular diseases can also cause burning sensation. The blood vessels usually narrows and blood flow is limited. This usually affects the legs but can also affect the arms. Burning sensation may be associated with thick nails, blue lips, swollen feet and blood pressure increase.

Other conditions that may brought burning sensation are carpal tunnel syndrome, ulcers, skin conditions, frostbite, hormone or calcium deficiencies, leprosy, snake bites, whiplash and other conditions involving nerve damage.