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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is paresthesia?

Paresthesia is numbness, tingling, or burning. It can happen in any part of your body, but usually occurs in your legs, feet, arms, or hands.

What causes paresthesia?

A large number of conditions can cause paresthesia. Nerves that provide sensation are affected. Paresthesia happens because of changes in these nerves, or in nerve pathways. The changes can be temporary, such as if you take certain medicines or you are not getting enough vitamin B. Nerve damage can lead to permanent paresthesia. Conditions that may cause nerve damage include diabetes, carpel tunnel syndrome, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. The exact cause of your paresthesia may not be known.

What should I tell my healthcare provider about what I feel?

You can help your healthcare provider by describing anything you feel, such as the following:

How is paresthesia diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. Tell your provider when the symptoms began. Include anything that makes your symptoms worse or better. Your provider will also need to know if you have a disease or condition that could be causing your symptoms. Tell him or her about the medicines you take. Include the amounts you take and when you take each medicine. You may also need any of the following:

How is paresthesia treated?

Treatment will depend on what is causing your paresthesia. You may need to increase the amount of vitamin B in your blood. Your healthcare provider may change or stop a medicine you are taking that is causing your symptoms. Permanent paresthesia may be helped with nerve medicine. If you have diabetes, your healthcare provider or diabetes specialist can help you control your blood sugar levels. Your provider may recommend a splint or surgery if you have paresthesia caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can I do to manage paresthesia?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.