It is quite common for you to experience burning sensation in the skin while going near to fire or burning stimuli. But sometimes we may feel burning face and skin even when no external stimulus is present. Such a feeling of burning face is a sign of inflammation. Any abnormal sensation of the skin is described as “paresthesia” in medical terms.
When you go near any external stimuli that sends out heat obviously, your skin would feel the burning sensation. It is due to the response of thermo-receptors of the skin. Burning sensation is not limited to face alone and many times it is felt in other parts of the body as well. The skin of your face is similar to other skin areas but the only difference is face is often exposed fully to the environment since it is not kept closed. Hence the skin of the face portion is sensitive and vulnerable to irritation and dirt elements easily.
In this article, you will get to know the factors that cause burning sensation in your face and about the ways to treat it.
Burning Face Symptoms :
- There would be sudden feeling of burning pain on the face
- Temporary numbness
- Itching all over the face and other parts of the body
- Feeling of spread of heat on the face
- Although there is no real stimulus for creating burning feeling, you may feel the burning face sensation. Sudden warmth and burning feeling is present on face.
Causes Of Burning Face :
Burning face is caused by various factors which include external and internal. It is not a matter of concern when sense of burning pain is caused by external source like campfire or any other heating equipment.
1. Exposure To Sun – Sunburn is the major cause of burning face sensation. When you are exposing the face and other body parts to the harsh ultraviolet rays of the sun, it can irritate the soft skin layer causing inflammation and redness. This ultimately would cause a sense of burning feeling on the face. Sun is not the only source causing sunburn and people living in cold climatic regions often use tanning beds for obtaining heat which can cause sunburn. Make sure that you are wearing a hat or covering your face with clothing while going out in direct sunlight.
2. Injury – Injury or trauma to the skin can occur due to physical blow directly on the face and due to accidental injury like scratching the face or cutting while shaving.
3. Dust and Pollution – These are the major elements that can spoil the texture of your skin on the face.
4. Cosmetic Products – Frequently changing the cosmetic products and using harsh chemicals can injure your skin. Many women resort to use strong creams for acne which may result in inflammation and burning face. Hard water, soaps, creams and skin care products can harm your skin causing irritation. In severe cases it may lead to dermatitis requiring medical treatment.
5. Acne – Acne is one of the common skin conditions faced by millions of men and women. This would be at its peak during adolescence but many women are facing acne during adulthood and even after menopause. Acne is believed to be caused by excess of oil secretion and also by bacteria. Some experts consider that acne is caused by autoimmune response of the body. Acne can cause lesions or pimples on the shoulders and back but is prominent on the face. Pinkish or reddish lesions are formed on the face and often it spreads throughout the face. It is difficult to cure acne but flaring symptoms can be managed to some extent with home remedies and personal hygiene.
6. Infections – Bacterial and viral infection can damage the soft texture of your skin on the face. When the pores of the skin get blocked due to some reason, it affects the free flow of oil secretion resulting in accumulation of oil. This becomes the ideal atmosphere for the parasites to grow and multiply. Warts can be caused by papilloma virus or HSV. In some cases papules are formed on various parts of the skin including your face. In rare cases even fungi and yeast can cause infections on the face forming ring like lesions.
7. Allergic Response – Exposure to harmless substances can also trigger skin irritation and irritation leading to burning face. The body’s immune system becomes overactive producing various chemicals causing allergic reaction. These chemicals are known as allergens and in some people it can cause skin lesions and inflammation.
8. Nature Of Skin – Dry skinned people are highly prone to skin irritation and injury. They lack basic oil elements that are required to keep the skin healthy. Dry skin can cause cracks and pimples on the face triggering burning face sensation. This feeling becomes intense when the skin is exposed to sunlight.
9. Trigeminal Neuralgia – Due to medical conditions of nerve injury on the face, burning face sensation can be felt. This is common in disorders like trigeminal neuralgia wherein the nerve that carries signal from the face to the brain gets affected. Even mild stimulation of the face like touching or shaving or brushing your teeth can trigger chronic pain and burning sensation on the face. Elderly women are highly prone to this problem and trigeminal neuralgia can cause frequent attacks of pain lasting from seconds to several minutes. Episodes of excruciating pain and burning feeling are felt in the areas of cheek, teeth and jaw where the trigeminal nerves are present.
Anticonvulsant drugs, antispasmodic drugs and Botox injection are recommended for trigeminal neuralgia. In severe cases surgery is done.
10 . Other Causes – Increased anxiety, diabetic neuropathy, psoriasis, drug hypersensitivity and shingles and dermatitis can cause burning face sensation. People suffering from psychotic disorders and people who are overly stressed can experience such feeling of burning pain. Burning feeling can occur rarely or frequently or after episodes of fear or anxiety.
For mild kind of burning pain on the face no testing procedure is required. But for medical conditions like trigeminal neuralgia and people with chronic diabetes are likely to undergo test including complete blood count and imaging tests like X-ray and MRI scanning.
Treatment for burning face feeling depends on the root cause.
- Having one or two episodes of burning face sensation does not mean that you have got some serious illness. May be you are overly stressed from workplace and all you need is a holiday for rejuvenation.
- If anxiety is causing burning face feeling you need to check with a psychiatrist. Alternatively you can join yoga class and practice meditation sessions for relieving anxiety and stress.
- For acne you can use topical creams and oral pills as suggested by your dermatologist.
- If certain medications are triggering such reaction you can consult your doctor who may prescribe suitable alternate drugs.
- Suitable prescription drugs are to be taken for serious problems like trigeminal neuralgia.
- Wash your face with plain water when you get back home and use soft towel for wiping.
- Always use gentle soaps and moisturizing creams on your face and body.
- Use recommended SPF creams on your face when going out.