I've realized I'm expierencing stress (or rather embarassment) quite differently than I used to. Like a year ago (I was 16) I expierenced stress just as a short warming up of my shoulders. For the last year or so, I expierence it more like a lot of very small stings seemingly randomly appearing everywhere all over my body. Is there a name for this condition?


2 Answers 2


Paresthesia Anxiety Symptoms -- seems like the term/condition you are looking for (though I am not a doctor and am not diagnosing you as such -- I'm just trying to inform you of the term you might be looking for).

In this Wikipedia entry on Paresthesia, it describes the sensation as such:

Paresthesia is an abnormal sensation such as tingling, tickling, pricking, numbness or burning of a person's skin with no apparent physical cause. The manifestation of a paresthesia may be transient or chronic.

It doesn't use the word "stinging" as you do so I'm not sure if this fits the bill, but it does go on to describe how it can be quite sporadic and painful. Other articles also have used the word "stinging" in reference to Parethesia.

This CalmClinic article "4 Ways to Prevent Pins and Needles From Anxiety", does a pretty good job of correlating how stress and anxiety are strongly linked to Parethesia (the stinging, tingling, burning, pins-and-needles sensation). I'm not sure if your stress leads to anxiety and sometimes panic attacks that include hyperventilation, but if so, here is an explanation as to why:

During hyperventilation, the body has too much oxygen and not enough carbon dioxide. That imbalance causes every vessel inside the body to constrict, while simultaneously reducing the release of calcium into the nerves. Both of these cause the nerves to feel "tingly."

Those with anxiety are also prone to hyperventilating more as a result of their hyperventilation. Hyperventilation can cause symptoms of not getting enough air (shortness of breath) which makes people breathe in deeper. But that deeper breathing is actually counterproductive, since too much oxygen is the cause of hyperventilation. This makes the symptoms get worse, and increases the likelihood of tingling.

Hyperventilation is one of the main causes of panic attack and severe anxiety symptoms, and the pins and needles feeling is undoubtedly one of the most troublesome for those unaware of their breathing patterns. Not everyone experiences the same sensation either. Some people feel pain, while others feel a tickling. Some people may experience different sensations at different times.

BUT do keep in mind that there are other reasons for this sensation to develop, even different stress and anxiety reasons (if you're not necessarily hyperventilating):

Other Links Between Anxiety and Pins and Needles Those with anxiety and those that suffer from anxiety attacks are also more prone to body consciousness. They become over-sensitive to every sensation their body makes, and unintentionally overthink the causes of those experiences.Feet, arms, fingers, and legs, all may fall asleep due to pressure on the nerves. For a person without anxiety, this experience is rarely given a second thought. To a person with anxiety, this experience can cause a significant amount of distress – enough to make someone worry about their health.In addition, dehydration and other less serious diseases may also create a tingling feeling in the limbs as well as anxiety. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may be more likely to react very strongly to these sensations until you experience an anxiety attack.

Hope this helps, but please do consult a doctor.


I have a similar experience right now and correlate it to a different challenge. Because if there is one thing I am not, it is being anxious.

I've experienced muscle weakness over de last 4 months which I've now recently realized has been correlated to a lack of vitamin D in my body.

With having had a vitamin D boost from the pharmacy, my health is getting a lot better now and exercising my muscles makes sense again (because they actually grow again).

What I notice is I still have these stings sometimes, even in locations which did not have the most serious muscle weakness. But what I expect is that with enough exercise and eating the right healthy foods, the stings will also go away.

Do you exercise?

  • I do and I used to take vitamin D as well (prescribed by a neurologist) but then my nutritional therapist told me not to (apart from the fact that it had been prescribed to me together with calcium even though both medications stated you shouldn't take them together with the other one :) Thank you very much, I had exercised less last days due to my business and I've been experiencing more stings, both when I excercised and when I got embarrassed.
    – Probably
    Mar 27, 2017 at 14:10
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    Welcome to Health.SE. Since health is an important topic, the site has a strict policy that all answers should be backed up with reliable references in order to provide the community with the means to assess the merit of the answer, regardless of the reader's background. See this list of reliable sources. If you still have trouble with this, feel free to visit the help center.
    – Narusan
    Mar 27, 2017 at 19:19
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    Because you had a problem that "was correlated" to Vit D deficiency, that bears no real relation between your muscle weakness and his prickling sensations. Please emend and corroborate your answer to be relevant, or it stands in danger of deletion.
    – JohnP
    Mar 27, 2017 at 20:16

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