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A burning sensation, tingling of the skin, a feeling of pins and needles or persistent itchiness can all be caused by something called paresthesia. The underlying causes behind the occurrence of paresthesia could be many including a systemic disease, trauma, injury, infection or inflammation.

Cause Of Paresthesia

People who complain of a burning sensation in the region of the thigh and groin without any other accompanying rashes must be checked for evidence of injury to the nerves in the area. Some major sensory nerves pass through the area winding around the bones, tendons, and cartilages but an increased amount of pressure or compression on these sensory nerves can lead to the occurrence of paresthesia.  

If the symptoms do not include any impedance in movement or other physical activity then it is likely the nerve being compressed is a ‘sensory’ nerve which does not have any motor function. This means that these nerves do not have anything to do with muscular function or response.

The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is a sensory nerve that is responsible for sensation in the outer thigh, parts of the inner thigh and the groin region.

A sudden gain in weight, wearing extremely tight clothing or corsets, increased pressure on the nerve during pregnancy, damage during surgery, nerve degeneration due to a systemic disease like diabetes, varicose veins or exposure to harmful chemicals can cause an injury to the sensory nerve.

Diagnosis Of Paresthesia 

The condition is diagnosed based on a detailed medical history, physical examination, and some diagnostic tests.

These tests include:

  • An MRI or CT scan to rule out the presence of a tumor
  • Tests to check for electrical conduction within the muscles
  • Nerve conduction tests

Doctors can also administer anesthesia to the nerve and see whether that provides relief since that will indicate that there is something irritating the nerve.

Treatment Of Paresthesia 

The main focus of the treatment is to relieve pressure on the nerve or eliminate any other inflammation that may be persisting around it. The first few steps include losing weight, wearing loose clothing and the use of Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs to provide relief from any pain that may be present.

If the symptoms do not subside even after a couple of months of following the above-mentioned steps then doctors may choose to use steroid injections around the site of burning sensation, use tricyclic antidepressants or maybe even try some anti-seizure medication that can help relieve the symptoms.

The last resort would be a surgical intervention to try and reduce the pressure on the nerve.

Differential Diagnosis

Some other diseases that can cause a burning sensation in the groin and thigh region include uncontrolled diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, multiple sclerosis, burns and sciatica. Most of the conditions, however, present with easily recognizable symptoms which should help the doctor rule them out.

Patients can test their glucose levels by purchasing at-home commercial kits and will need to visit the hospital or their doctor to rule out other conditions. The treatment of this condition requires time and symptoms will usually reduce over a period of several weeks.   

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