Needle Pricks in Skin (Possible Causes & What to Do)

Have you ever felt pricks on your skin that come and go? You might think it’s just an itch, but it could be something more. Many people experience this strange sensation without knowing what it is.

Keep reading to learn more.

You might have a condition called paresthesia. Paresthesia is a sensation of pins and needles, numbness, or tingling. It can be caused by many things, such as damage to the nerves, medications, or a health condition.

If you’re experiencing paresthesia, you might notice that it can happen anywhere – your hands, your arms, your feet, and even your face. Sciencedirect describe it as one of the 6 ‘Ps”

Needle pricks

Many people describe this feeling as a jolt or an electric shock. It might come and go, and it can be irritating or uncomfortable, but paresthesia is not dangerous.

Here are some possible reasons that could be causing your needle prickly sensation.

  • Damage to your nerves
  • Medication
  • Stroke
  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Multiple Sclerosis

1. Damage to your nerves

Sometimes, damage to the nerves can occur from traumatic injury – such as a car accident – or from an illness such as diabetes

It can also happen after surgery that damages nerves during procedures like spinal cord stimulation or hip replacement surgery.

2. Medication

Some medication have a side effect of causing paresthesia in some patients who take them. Anticholinergics are one type of drug which often has this effect to some users

So, if you’re taking a medication that has anticholinergic effects and you notice an electric shock sensation in your skin, it could be the result of the medication.

3. Stroke

Sometimes, damage to the nerves that occurs from stroke can cause the “electric shock” feeling in your skin. This is known as aphasia.

If you’re experiencing an electric shock feeling in your skin, and also have difficulty speaking, it could be the sign of a stroke. You should seek medical treatment immediately

4. Anxiety or stress

Sometimes, stress or anxiety can cause paresthesia to occur. This might happen if you are stressed about something like work or school, for example.

This is another type of “pins and needles” sensation that is not dangerous, but can seem uncomfortable during times of high levels of stress

5. Diabetes

Diabetes is linked with increased risk for nerve damage which can lead to paresthesia. If you’re diabetic and notice this sensation everywhere, try making adjustments to your diet and medication regimento see if it helps.

6. Pregnancy

The “pins and needles” sensation caused by paresthesia can be a sign of pregnancy in some cases

If you’re pregnant, and experience the sensation only on one side of your body, it could mean that there is increased blood flow to that area due to an increase in hormones during pregnancy. This isn’t always the case, though

7. Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a disorder of the central nervous system, so symptoms such as paresthesia are common when this disease occurs. If you have multiple sclerosis and feel electric shocks everywhere, talk with your doctor about treatments for this condition.

What to do about pin pricks all over the body

In most cases, if you feel pin pricks all over your body every now and then it is generally harmless. However, if you have a poor diet, or you drink frequently, or have been diagnosed with a condition – then you should take steps to change your lifestyle.

If you’re experiencing electrical shock sensations throughout your body, it might be worth visiting a doctor or neurologist to ask for advice and/or blood tests.

Don’t self-diagnose and don’t take risks with your health – especially when you can easily consult a medical professional.

In some cases, a full physical exam may be required.

Now we’ll move on to some possible treatment options:

Balanced Diet

Adopting a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and proteins can help to counteract the effect of any medication that may be causing paresthesia

Drink plenty of fluids and try cutting down on alcohol as well as smoking, as both of these activities are damaging to your health.

Exercise Regularly

You don’t have to become a fitness fanatic; just make sure you get some exercise every now and then

A brisk walk or casual bike ride might be all you need – it’s better than doing nothing at all.

Try Acupuncture or Yoga

Acupuncture involves inserting needles into various parts of the body which stimulates the release of chemicals that can improve your health. This could help if paresthesia is being caused by stress or anxiety Yoga is another option which has multiple benefits for your health. It can help you to relax, give you better flexibility and promote breathing techniques which should improve your health overall

Stress Less!

Sometimes, all it takes to alleviate the feeling of paresthesia is just taking a break from whatever might be causing stress for you. Turn off the computer, take some time out with a hot cup of tea, play your favorite video game or just have an early night’s sleep – whatever relaxes you the most.

Final Thoughts

If you feel needle pricks in your skin, try to find out why it is happening before seeking help.

Look at your diet and lifestyle, do some research online or talk with a medical professional when you have time.