Q:

What causes a burning sensation in the fingertips?

A:

A burning sensation in the fingertips, also known as paresthesias, can be caused by localized injury to the hand, nerve damage, inflammation, infection, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis or vitamin B12 deficiency, according to HealthGrades. People may also experience paresthesias due to alcoholism, thyroid imbalances, stroke or lead poisoning.

A burning sensation in the finger can also be caused by sprain, age, carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve entrapment, poor circulation, cervical spondylosis, Buerger’s disease, frostbite, a herniated disc or Raynaud’s disease, notes HealthGrades. Paresthesias can signal a serious problem and must be diagnosed quickly to avoid potential health complications. Depending on the cause of paresthesias, untreated cases can develop into finger deformities, infection expansion, chronic impairment or the need for finger amputation.

It is important for people with suspicious burning sensations in the finger to visit a doctor as soon as possible for a discussion of symptoms, notes HealthGrades. Doctors are likely to ask questions about a patient's medical history and the nature of the individual's finger pain, such as when it started, whether or not it is constant, how severe the discomfort is, if it affects both hands and how many fingers are influenced. Doctors are able to use this information to make a proper diagnosis. For example, a patient may have a compressed ulnar nerve if both his pinky and ring fingers are affected.

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