What is Dysesthesia with symptoms types and causes

Dysesthesia is a neurological disorder characterized by weakened or altered sensitivity of the senses, especially touch. This condition causes an abnormal and unpleasant sensation that can be spontaneous and provoked.

In this sense, dysesthesia is conceptualized as a type of painful paresthesia. The most typical case of dysesthesia is formed by experiencing a burning pain caused by different polyneuropathies.

The word dysesthesia comes from the Greek, where “dys” means abnormal and “esthesia” means sensation. In this way, this phenomenon is described as an unpleasant and abnormal touch sensation. Normally, this disorder generates the experience of pain, but it can also generate unpleasant or strange tactile sensations, but not painful.


This alteration is caused by lesions in the central and peripheral nervous system, specifically, it is caused by conditions in the pain transmission system.

The main sensations that dysesthesia usually generates are: perforations, itching, electric shock, sensation of humidity, tingling, burning, irritations and numbness. All these manifestations are experienced due to an increase in the person’s pain threshold.

The symptomatology of this disorder can affect any region of the body, although the most sensitive are usually the mouth, scalp and legs.

Currently, dysesthesia is a neurological disorder observed in a wide variety of pathologies, which is why it has a very varied etiology.


Dysesthesia is a type of neurological disorder that is characterized, in general, by presenting an abnormal and unpleasant sensation. It constitutes an alteration in the tactile sensitivity of the surface that generates symptoms such as tingling, perforation, irritation or numbness.

All cases of dysesthesia have a similar manifestation, as this alteration is more of a symptom than a disease in itself. However, different types of dysesthesia can be classified in the clinical setting according to the affected body region.

skin dysesthesia

The presence of dysesthesia of the skin was decided, which characterizes the experience of discomfort or pain when touching the skin when it comes into contact with normal stimuli.

People with dysesthesia of the skin may have serious difficulties in functioning properly, as even the slightest contact of the skin with an external object (including clothing) causes painful and / or unpleasant sensations.

However, in these cases, the degree of painful sensation can vary and range from mild tingling to experiencing blunt, crippling pain.

Scalp dysesthesia

On the other hand, the diagnosis of scalp dysesthesia has already been established. People with this condition do not have any type of sensitive alteration in the skin, except in the capillary regions.

Scalp dysesthesia is mainly characterized by experiencing pain or burning sensation on the surface of the cranial skin as well as experiencing excessive itching of the scalp.

occlusal dysesthesia

Finally, the last type of dysesthesia is known as occlusal dysesthesia or phantom bite. This condition is characterized by affecting the person’s dental region.

It constitutes a very rare alteration experienced by individuals undergoing dental procedures. These subjects experience pain and unpleasant sensations in their dental regions and believe that the upper region of the mouth does not fit correctly with the lower region.

In this case, the phenomenon of dysesthesia is usually classified as a somatoform disorder, just as the other “ghost phenomena” usually have contaminating psychological disorders.


Dysesthesia is a condition caused by specific lesions in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.

This condition involves the pain transmission system, which is closely linked to the spinal cord, but is also processed by various regions of the brain, such as the thalamus.

For this reason, injuries or functional alterations in the brain and spinal cord and in the regions that unite the two structures, can lead to the development of dysesthesia.

Despite not being a highly prevalent neurological disorder, dysesthesia has a large number of pathologies related to its etiology.

In general, it is argued that this condition is always secondary to a primary disease, which would be responsible for functional alterations in the transmission of painful and sensitive stimuli.


Diabetes mellitus is a set of metabolic disorders characterized by the presence of persistently high blood glucose levels.

This pathology is highly prevalent worldwide and originates due to a defect in insulin production.

The symptomatology of diabetes is very varied, including fatigue, fatigue, visual disturbances, abdominal pain, irritability or weight loss. Also, although it is not one of the most common manifestations, many people with diabetes can develop dysesthesia.

Guillain-Barré syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a serious condition that develops when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks part of the nervous system.

This disease causes inflation of different brain nerves, which causes muscle weakness or paralysis. Among the symptoms generated by this pathology, dysesthesia stands out, which can be experienced frequently in these cases.

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a group of diseases of the peripheral nervous system that are characterized by brain damage.

These changes can be caused by various conditions, such as herpes infection, neurotoxins or the effects of chemotherapy drugs, and usually degenerate into situations of insensitivity, dysesthesia and allodynia.


Polynenopathies are complex neurological conditions that have a high prevalence in the adult population.

It constitutes a pathological entity that encompasses inflammatory and degenerative diseases of the peripheral nervous system. That is, it constitutes any alteration that affects the peripheral nerves of the brain.

This disease usually generates a high sensory, motor and vegetative affectation, causing a wide variety of usually severe symptoms, of which one of the most prevalent is dysesthesia.

abstinence syndrome

The abstinence syndrome refers to a set of physical and psychological reactions that a person addicted to a substance experiences when interrupting its consumption.

The syndrome can occur in some psychological pathologies, such as emotional dependence. The symptomatology of this condition usually varies depending on the substance to which the person is addicted.

With regard to dysesthesia in these cases, it is an uncommon symptom, but some individuals who are addicted to alcohol may experience it when they stop consumption and develop their own withdrawal syndrome.

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a disease characterized by the appearance of demyelinating, neurodegenerative and chronic lesions of the central nervous system.

Multiple sclerosis has a wide range of symptoms, including asthenia, loss of muscle mass and strength, lack of coordination in movements, dysarthria, respiratory failure, spasticity, cramps, sexual dysfunction, cognitive problems and dysesthesia.

Related:   Amphetamines: characteristics and side effects

dental interventions

Dental interventions are related to cases of occlusal dysesthesia or phantom bite.

This alteration is a little different from other types of dysesthesia, since painful and / or unpleasant sensations are subject to cognitive elements closely related to the experiences lived in a previous dental intervention.

In this sense, occlusal dysesthesia is considered a type of somatomorphic disorder in which the person experiences a noticeable distortion in the functioning and structure of their dental regions.


Gangliosidosis is a set of lysosomal storage disorders that are due to an accumulation of gangliosides (a type of sphingolipid) in brain neurons.

This hereditary pathology causes dysfunction of lysosomal enzymes, a fact that causes the development of different neurological and physical disorders, including dysesthesia.

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy is a very common type of peripheral neuropathy characterized by the direct effects of chemotherapy.

This condition mainly causes dysesthesia, causing symptoms such as tingling or numbness. Symptomatology usually starts in the hands and feet and gradually moves up through the lower and upper extremities.

Dejerine-Roussy Syndrome

Finally, the Dèjerine-Roussy syndrome or thalamic syndrome is a pathology that causes a sensory loss of all forms of sensation in a blood body due to a lesion in the contralateral cerebral thalamus.

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