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Hypersensitivity to Touch

Skin Hypersensitivity 

Some people with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and other chronic illnesses develop allodynia, pain resulting from a stimulus that is not typically pain provoking.  In some people, light touch of the skin can be extremely painful.  Something as light as a sheet of paper touching the skin can be painful.  If this is an issue for you, try this protocol to decrease your hypersensitivity.

Step 1. The patient:Hypersensitivity

  • Use lotion to gently rub each hypersensitive section of your body for 2 minutes each. If the pain is in the entire legs, this means two minutes rubbing the lower left leg, two minutes rubbing the upper left leg, two minutes rubbing the lower right leg, and two minutes rubbing the upper right leg.
  • After several days, when this no longer causes discomfort, use a soft pillowcase to rub each area for 2 minutes. Do this daily until it no longer hurts.
  • When this no longer causes discomfort, use a soft towel to rub each area for 2 minutes. When the towel no longer hurts, then you move to step 2.

Step 2. The caregiver:

  • After the patient has completed all of the steps above (it will take a week or more), then it is time for someone else to touch the sensitive areas. You will repeat the steps above with your hands on the patient's painful areas.
  • Use lotion to rub each hypersensitive area... until after several days it no longer hurts.
  • Use pillowcase...
  • Use towel...

This allodynia (hypersensitivity) can increase when POTS symptoms are flaring. Make no mistake - this process is painful, but it can work to reduce the feeling of pain to light touch.