Glossary of Medical Terms
Paresthesia is a feeling of tingling, burning, pricking, or numbness of the skin with no apparent physical cause. Some people call it a feeling of "pins and needles."
Paresthesia that comes and goes (transient paresthesia) is usually caused by pressure on a nerve, and it disappears gradually as the pressure is relieved. Other kinds of paresthesia can be chronic and painful and are often a symptom of underlying nerve damage or disease.
Comparing the affected area with an unaffected area will determine whether paresthesia is present.
When the affected area is touched, does the touch cause the same feeling or sensation as when an unaffected area is touched?
Does loss of normal sensation spread beyond the affected area (usually away from the center of the body down a limb)?
Treatment for paresthesia depends on what is causing the problem.