MS and Goosebumps - Painful or Abnormal Placement | MyMSTeam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up Log in
Resources
About MyMSTeam
Powered By
See answer

Goosebumps and MS: MyMSTeam Members Share Their Experiences

Medically reviewed by Evelyn O. Berman, M.D.
Written by Sarah Winfrey
Posted on April 5, 2022

What Are Goosebumps? | Causes | What It Feels Like | Support

If you are experiencing goosebumps with MS, it’s important to know that you are not alone. Here’s what you need to know about goosebumps with MS, including what they feel like, what may be causing them, and how other members of MyMSTeam experience this symptom.

What Are Goosebumps?

Goosebumps (also known as goose pimples or gooseflesh) usually occur when small muscles just under the skin flex, rather than relax. The flexing causes the hairs in hair follicles to stand up straight, rather than allowing them to lie flat against the skin as they would normally do. These movements are not muscle spasms.

This automatic reaction helps the body hold onto heat when it begins to get too cold by closing off the skin’s pores. The tiny muscles that contract are also connected to stem cells in the hair follicles. These cells control hair growth. Thus, it may be that goosebumps help the body retain a layer of heat while also stimulating more hair growth for long-term warmth.

Goosebumps can also be triggered by any emotion that arouses the sympathetic nervous system. Various emotions, including fear or awe, can cause goosebumps.

Occasionally, goosebumps may indicate a serious medical disorder, though these goosebumps usually persist without another explanation. Goosebumps that seem unusual or that don’t go away should be investigated by health care professionals as soon as possible.

What Causes Goosebumps in MS?

There is not much research that specifically focuses on goosebumps in people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. However, goosebumps could fall into a couple of categories of MS symptoms.

Goosebumps are associated with a certain type of nerve damage, called peripheral nerve palsy. However, this type of nerve damage is unusual in MS.

MS and Altered Sensations

MS is associated with several altered sensations, which are sensations that don’t seem tied to reality — such as feeling wetness on your skin when it’s really dry. Goosebumps that occur when a person is not cold and not feeling a strong emotion may fall into this category.

These altered sensations are caused by the damage to the myelin sheath covering the nerves (demyelination) that’s characteristic of MS. Messages are not getting sent to the brain properly, or the brain cannot interpret the messages properly. When this disruption happens, the brain attempts to tie the signal it’s receiving to something that’s happened before or something a person can imagine happening to them. This response can create odd and unexpected sensations, like goosebumps when it’s warm.

MS and Cold Sensitivity

People diagnosed with MS may also be more sensitive to cold than those without MS. This sensitivity can occur when a lesion develops on the part of the brain that interprets temperature or responds to cooler temperatures. Increased cold sensitivity can also happen because certain temperatures can affect how quickly messages are passed along the nervous system. Both of these effects can cause a person with MS to feel colder than the actual temperature might warrant, which may lead to frequent goosebumps.

What Are Goosebumps With MS Like?

MyMSTeam members experience goosebumps with MS regularly, though the exact prevalence of this symptom among those diagnosed is unknown.

Goosebumps at Unusual Times

Many members experience goosebumps at unusual times, like when they are not cold at all. One posed a question: “Just curious if anyone else with MS has goosebumps all the time. It’s always like that, even when I’m not cold.”

One member wrote, “When I get really hot, my arms and legs get goosebumps.” Another added, “During the daytime, it can be cool or warm, and I will get goosebumps all over.”

These goosebumps can be frustrating and annoying. One member described their experience, writing, “I was researching whether MS is the reason I get goosebumps constantly, even if I’m hot — women will understand how annoying that is, especially right after shaving and your hair grows right back! It’s not emotion- or climate-induced, but I get goosebumps around four times a day!”

Another member reported experiencing frequent goosebumps, writing, “Oh, and I had the usual goosebumps.”

For others, goosebumps indicate a flare-up or MS relapse. As one member explained, “Goosebumps were my first symptom for my first relapse. It came on suddenly. I would lean over or put a shirt on and have goosebumps on my flanks, arms, torso, and back. And then it hit my lower body, crept up my legs, and went to ice-cold feet 24/7. It lasted for two months.”

Temperature Sensitivity and Goosebumps

Some members experience goosebumps only when they are cold — but they feel cold all the time. “I am freezing all the time,” wrote one member. “I just came in from being outside to get warmed up. It’s 90 here today, and I was lying in my lounge chair in the sun for almost an hour. I even got goosebumps at one point during that time.”

Others experience temperature swings, complete with goosebumps even when their environment is not that cold. “Either I’m super hot, or a slight breeze gives me goosebumps,” explained one member.

Other Goosebump Experiences With MS

A few MyMSTeam members have had other unusual experiences with goosebumps.

One wrote, “I’ve been hating the cold this winter. Goosebumps feel like knives all over.”

Although most members haven’t mentioned experiencing unusual sensations along with their goosebumps, this person’s experience is evidence that it can happen.

Another member described experiencing something like goosebumps as a precursor to facial or head numbness. “For me, it feels a little like goosebumps when it’s coming on.”

Research indicates that goosebump-like sensations (along with others, like prickling or tingling sensations) can precede this kind of numbness. Thus, feeling like you have goosebumps may mean that more symptoms of MS are on their way.

No matter the cause of your goosebumps, it’s important to talk to your doctor or neurologist about them — especially if the goosebumps are uncomfortable, frustrating, or causing mental distress. One member expressed having feelings like this: “These ‘goosebumps’ are in my head. I hate drugs, but I can’t deal with this anymore. Anyone know of any meds I can talk to my neuro about?”

Always ask your doctor for medical advice if you are concerned about a new or worsening symptom. Working with a neurologist to find the right MS treatment or set of treatment options for your symptoms could help minimize these goosebumps, no matter how you are experiencing them or what is causing them.

Find Your MS Team

On MyMSTeam, the social network for people with multiple sclerosis and their loved ones, more than 183,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with multiple sclerosis.

Have you experienced goosebumps with MS? Share your experience in the comments below or by posting on MyMSTeam.


Posted on April 5, 2022
All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

We'd love to hear from you! Please share your name and email to post and read comments.

You'll also get the latest articles directly to your inbox.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Evelyn O. Berman, M.D. is a neurology and pediatric specialist and treats disorders of the brain in children. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about her here.
Sarah Winfrey is a writer at MyHealthTeam. Learn more about her here.

Related Articles

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the central...

MS and the Myelin Sheath: Demyelination Causes and Treatments

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the central...
Read on to find out possible causes of neck, jaw, or collarbone pain, and how others with MS have...

MS and Pain in the Collarbone, Neck, and Jaw

Read on to find out possible causes of neck, jaw, or collarbone pain, and how others with MS have...
Explore how others with multiple sclerosis experience shoulder pain and what they recommend to tr...

Shoulder Pain and MS: Members Describe Symptoms and Share Tips

Explore how others with multiple sclerosis experience shoulder pain and what they recommend to tr...
Feeling vibrating sensations with ms? Learn about causes, symptoms, and steps to prevent or slow ...

MS and Vibrating Sensations

Feeling vibrating sensations with ms? Learn about causes, symptoms, and steps to prevent or slow ...
“I couldn’t sleep because of spasms,” one MyMSTeam member shared.Muscle spasms are common among p...

Why Are MS Muscle Spasms Worse at Night?

“I couldn’t sleep because of spasms,” one MyMSTeam member shared.Muscle spasms are common among p...
The effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) are different for everyone. You may feel heat, cold, sting...

Unusual Sensations and MS: Causes and When To Worry

The effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) are different for everyone. You may feel heat, cold, sting...

Recent Articles

Las bebidas con cafeína son un elemento básico matutino para muchas personas en todo el mundo. La...

La cafeína y la esclerosis múltiple: ocho cosas que debe saber

Las bebidas con cafeína son un elemento básico matutino para muchas personas en todo el mundo. La...
Transcripción00:00:09:49 - 00:00:33:91Eric PeacockUn último tema aparte ahora, fuera de la espas...

¿Alguna vez se descubrirá una cura para la esclerosis múltiple? El Dr. Boster explica los avances en la investigación

Transcripción00:00:09:49 - 00:00:33:91Eric PeacockUn último tema aparte ahora, fuera de la espas...
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS),...

What Is Smoldering MS? Inflammation May Linger During Remission

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS),...
There are four actions you can take now to improve your quality of life with MS until a cure is f...

Will There Ever Be a Cure for MS? Dr. Boster Explains Research Advances (VIDEO)

There are four actions you can take now to improve your quality of life with MS until a cure is f...
How I Balance Life and Stress With MSLindsey Holcomb shares how she balances her life and stress...

8 Tips for Managing Stress With MS (VIDEO)

How I Balance Life and Stress With MSLindsey Holcomb shares how she balances her life and stress...
Leading multiple sclerosis (MS) experts recommend people with MS get booster vaccinations against...

MS Symptoms and COVID-19 Vaccines: Is There a Relapse Risk?

Leading multiple sclerosis (MS) experts recommend people with MS get booster vaccinations against...
MyMSTeam My multiple sclerosis Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close