Goosebumps over the whole body: causes, diagnosis and treatment

The tingling sensation in the body caused by irritation of the nerve fibers, and arising under the influence of certain factors, is popularly called "goose bumps."

In official medicine, this phenomenon is called paresthesia. The mechanism of its development is as follows: at the moment when 2 signals that are not connected to each other immediately arrive at the sensory nerve ending, it cannot respond to them correctly due to their layering. Against this background, there is a side reaction such as burning, tingling, numbness and paresthesia.

Along with this symptom in patients may appear "goose bumps", which is characterized by the formation of pimples in the area of ​​hair growth. Paresthesia can occur during prolonged stay in one position, after hypothermia, as well as under the influence of many similar factors. But if goosebumps disturb a person at regular intervals, it is necessary to turn to a general practitioner and be examined.

What it is?

Irritation of nerve fibers, the brain or spinal cord, accompanied by a tingling sensation, is called paresthesia. It occurs due to the fact that the nerve can not properly respond to incoming signals that do not have communication with each other.

Paresthesia usually occurs below the localized area of ​​the irritated nerve. Goosebumps are divided into:

1) Temporary, which appear periodically when in an uncomfortable position, hypothermia, sexual arousal, euphoria, etc. Such unpleasant sensations do not last long, and pass on their own. But they still cause discomfort, because they are accompanied by cramps, pain, a violation of sensitivity in the limbs or another part of the body.

2) Chronic. Such paresthesias tend to recur frequently, and may indicate the presence of the disease. In this case, patients may complain of the manifestation of symptoms in one of 2 groups:

  • clinical manifestations characteristic of nerve fibers. For such a situation, the tingling and numbness in the whole limb, or only in the fingers, will be characteristic. This picture is accompanied by paresthesia and impaired mobility of the body part. Sometimes local seizures may join with all the symptoms;
  • symptoms characteristic of damage to the nerve endings that are in close proximity to the blood vessels of a particular area of ​​the body. In this case, blanching of the skin, its cooling, loss of sensation in the affected area, hair loss and pain are observed.

With temporary paresthesias, intervention by the doctor is not necessary, but with chronic goosebumps, it cannot be dispensed with. In this situation, it is important to find out the exact cause of the symptom, and take steps to eliminate it.

Chronic goosebumps

A disease in which a person feels a constant crawl throughout his body is called hyperkeratosis. It develops due to an oversupply of keratin cells in the stratum corneum. As a result, it is thickening and thickening of the hair follicles, which begin to protrude above the skin surface.

One of the most common types of pathology is follicular hyperkeratosis. With this disease, rashes appear on the skin that look like goosebumps. Horny skin with time begins to peel off. During this process, the scales penetrate the hair follicles and clog them. Against this background, develops inflammation, accompanied by redness and the appearance of small rashes.

Most often, these rashes are formed on the buttocks, elbows, thighs, knees. Problem areas become hypersensitive to temperature and mechanical stress.

Hyperkeratosis may develop due to:

  • retinol and ascorbic acid deficiency;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • hardness of tap water used for hygienic procedures;
  • non-compliance with the rules of body hygiene;
  • hypothermia or, conversely, overheating;
  • metabolic disorders.

Treatment of this disease requires serious time-consuming, because it is necessary not only to overcome it, as such, but also to restore the health of damaged skin. Although with age, symptoms may smooth out, and the skin will gradually return to normal.

Pathological causes of goosebumps

If paresthesia is not a consequence of the previously listed safe factors, then it may well indicate that there are pathological processes in the human body.

It should be noted that they can be extremely serious, and even life-threatening, so you need to know about them.

Lack of vitamins

Lack of vitamins is not only unpleasant, but also a dangerous phenomenon. If at first nutritional deficiencies can be compensated without much difficulty, then coping with vitamin deficiencies or vitamin deficiency will not be so easy.

One of the symptoms of this condition is paresthesia. It is especially pronounced with the deficiency of elements of group B - thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, cyanocobalamin. Along with goosebumps on the body, a person has disturbances in the activity of the nervous system, the activity of which directly depends on the level of these substances.

Magnesium deficiency

Lack of magnesium in the body can cause paresthesia, which will additionally be accompanied by a violation of the gastrointestinal tract: nausea, vomiting, bloating, stool disorders, etc.

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a serious neurological disease, in which the tingling sensation is felt primarily on the face. Paresthesia in this pathology is usually accompanied by:

  • tremor of the limbs;
  • gait disturbance;
  • trembling hands;
  • visual impairment.

The causes of autoimmune disease are not fully understood, but much is known about its dangerous consequences.


Neurocirculatory dystonia is a condition that occurs against the background of a conflict in the functioning of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. With such a violation, patients suffer from pressure surges, heart palpitations, headaches, mood swings.

During the next attack, a person gets chills, paresthesia and tremor.


Stroke - a hemorrhage in the brain that occurs due to blockage and rupture of a blood vessel.

Against this background, develop acute hypoxia, which leads to fainting, headaches, dizziness, paresthesia. Late intervention in a situation is fraught with grave consequences, including death.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

This disease is characterized by damage to the spinal cord autoantibodies. As a result, paresthesia appears, as well as partial loss of body sensitivity, and then complete paralysis. Goosebumps first appear in the upper extremities, and then go to the chest and legs.


In TBI, the brain is affected, and what part of it is damaged depends on the localization of the goosebumps.

Brain tumors

Usually paresthesia and goosebumps appear in the face and hands. But similar symptoms can also occur in migraines with aura.


Damage, compression or injury to a nerve is called neuropathy. In this case, paresthesia is manifested in the zone where the affected end is. For example, in neuropathy of the ulnar nerve, goosebumps appear in the area of ​​the elbow and the lateral portion of the forearm.

Pathology of the musculoskeletal system

If goosebumps appeared suddenly, and are noted in one side of the body, in a particular area (for example, under the scapula), then the person, first of all, should pay attention to his spine.

Paresthesia often develops on the background of scoliosis, osteochondrosis, spondylosis. Chills can also be a symptom of post-traumatic conditions and tumors.


In diabetics, crawling of the body, legs, and hands is quite common. This symptom appears usually with a complicated course of the disease, and indicates the development of secondary diabetic polyneuropathy.

Cardiovascular pathology

In diseases of the heart and blood vessels, the feeling of goosebumps running through the body is noted in the left side of the body. But that is not all. There are certain symptoms that should alert and force the patient to immediately call the ambulance team. These features include:

  • cardialgia;
  • dizziness;
  • sense of gratuitous anxiety or fear.

If the pain in the chest, against the background of the above symptoms, gives in the left hand, the patient has visual disturbance and cold sweat appears, that is, every reason to suspect myocardial infarction.

The situation when the patient has the appearance of a fever without hyperthermia should be alerted. If this condition does not go away for 10 minutes or more, then we can talk about cardiac arrhythmia.

Other reasons

In addition to the above, there are other pathological factors of the occurrence of running goosebumps.

  1. Phlebeurysm. This disease is referred to when running goose bumps appear in the legs.
  2. This symptom also manifests itself in restless legs syndrome. He, in turn, often develops against the background of renal failure.
  3. Hormonal disorders caused by disorders in the endocrine glands. In particular, it concerns the thyroid gland and adrenal glands.
  4. Inflammation of muscle fibers. In this case, goosebumps will be felt in the zone of the affected muscles.

In chronic alcoholism, goosebumps are also quite common.


The diagnostic scheme is built on the basis of the localization of unpleasant sensations and the factors that preceded their appearance. It also depends on which doctor you need to ask for help.

  1. If goosebumps appeared after a spinal injury, then this may indicate a fracture or fracture of the vertebrae. In this case, consult a neurologist.
  2. If paresthesia is accompanied by pale skin, this may indicate poor arterial patency, endarteritis obliterans or ASB. Such situations require intervention by a vascular surgeon.
  3. Paresthesia, accompanied by muscle weakness and impaired sensitivity, may indicate polyneuropathy requiring intervention by an endocrinologist.

You can pass the initial examination by a therapist or family doctor. After collecting anamnesis, he will decide which specialist of a narrow profile to refer a patient for further diagnosis.


The consequences of paresthesia depend on its cause.

  1. If the symptom is associated with arrhythmia, this is fraught with the development of a stroke or heart failure.
  2. Against the background of a stroke, there is a risk of paralysis (complete or partial), impaired or lost speech, bowel and urinary system disorders.
  3. Inflammatory and oncological processes in the brain can cause impairment of consciousness, or else be fatal.

In view of such dangerous complications of the above pathologies, it is necessary to carefully and seriously treat the occurrence of chills on the body. If paresthesia is associated with prolonged stay in an uncomfortable position, then there is nothing to worry about: it does not carry any threat to either health or human life.

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