Experiencing MS Sensitivity to Touch

Oversensitivity: The Aftereffects of Neuropathy

MS Sensitivity to TouchIf you have had neuropathy from your multiple sclerosis (MS), chances are you have had different forms of residual symptoms once your flare-up has settled down.

Spasticity, tingling, and pins and needles are all very common, but today I am talking about oversensitivity to touch.

I will say right up front that I have not sought out any prescription assistance in reducing my oversensitivity. I haven’t felt anything I was ever given really aided in reducing the discomfort of my peripheral neuropathy. I have just dealt with the pain I live with daily.

The pain is mild, for now, but sometimes it is almost maddening. You know what I am talking about — that feeling of your clothes scratching your skin. The painful pressing and rubbing that begins and eventually feels as though razor blades are cutting into your skin.

I Like That Fabric!

Clothing can be wonderful, but it can also be the bane of my existence. Mostly, what it is made of will decide the fate of an item.

Things that were developed by torturous masterminds:

  • Anything made of wool
  • Heavy jeans
  • Cheap cotton
  • Canvas coats and hats
  • Anything with bulky or badly placed seams
  • Shirt tags
  • Most pajamas
  • Anything wrinkly

To an outsider, it can seem as though anything and everything can irritate and hurt a person with MS. And they’re not wrong — give something time and I am sure I will become irritated by it being on my body.

The truth is, when I was in the middle of my first big relapse I wanted to rip my skin off and walk around without it. That is how painful neuropathy can be; your body is forced into a strange purgatory between nothing and everything.


Our brain is struggling to reconcile an unending paradox. When the relapse has subsided, a person’s body is left with scars — plaques on the lesions — within the brain and spine. Our bodies do their best to spackle the gaps left by our ravenous immune symptoms, but the repair is never as true as the original.

I have endured this struggle for eight years now. I cope with the oversensitivity in its utility by buying nice clothes that fit me properly.

Yoga pants are my friend, as are skirts of all types and styles. I buy jeans that are made of thinner material with a spandex/ cotton blend. Shearling boots are wonderful in the winter time — their furry interior is exactly what my toes need.

Sleeping Gear Is Important

Sleep is incredibly important to us all and is something that eludes many of us with MS. Pajamas are an issue in and of their own.

I often have nights when I am incredibly tired and actually capable of falling asleep. If it were not for my pajamas, and my sheets for that matter, sleep would come easily.

Next page: struggling with expressing what we’re feeling

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