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Overview

A cold and wet sensation in random areas of the body and on patches of skin can become a very irritating situation which brings up more questions than it does answers.

The sensation is usually described as someone feeling something wet or cold on their skin despite there being no sweat or other fluids present, as well as no cold object nearby or wind that blows past. Affected individuals will also mention that it feels like someone has touched them with a damp cloth.

Affected individuals will state that these wet sensations are experienced in random areas of the body which can include the face, head, arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, toes, back, and abdomen. The sensations may shift from one side to the next and even from one body part to the other. These sensations can involve one area, multiple mixed sites, or even the entire body and usually occur suddenly and at random times.

Anxiety and Stress

One of the main causes of this sensation is thought to be anxiety.

When one is anxious, the body responds by activating its stress response. This involves the secretion of stress hormones such as cortisol into the bloodstream which activates the adrenal gland to secrete adrenaline.

This is referred to as the fight or flight response since increased anxiety causes the body to enter a phase where it needs to act quickly in order to get itself out of danger.

Adrenaline is a Vasoconstrictor which means that is causes the blood vessels to narrow in order to push blood away from the peripheral areas of the body such as the hands, feet, and skin in order to pump blood to the essential organs and tissues such as the heart, lungs, and muscles in order for the body to respond quickly to any imminent danger.

When blood is shunted from the skin, it causes the tissue to feel cold and wet and this is a commonly perceived issue when the body is in an active stress response.

When stress responses occur less frequently, the affected individual's body recovers fairly quickly from the physical and emotional changes that occur with the fight or flight response. However, when one is subjected to continuous and severe stressors, the body has a more challenging time in trying to recover from this response.

This can result in the individual remaining in a semi hyperstimulated state which can result in symptoms similar to those of an active emergency response.

In other words, these individuals won't have to be stimulated by a stressor to enter an active stress response and will continue to experience cold and wet sensations since they have stress hormones continuously circulating through their bloodstreams.

Management

Managing this issue will entail reducing the levels of the circulating stress hormones in the body.

This can be achieved in various ways with the most popular being psychotherapy through cognitive behavioural therapy and relaxation techniques which can be taught by psychologists and occupational therapists.

These techniques have been proven to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety in affected individuals and will help to decrease the levels of stress hormones in the bloodstream which should help to reduce the perceived wet sensations on one's skin.

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