Why do you feel raindrops on your skin? (+15 facts)

In this article, we will discuss why you get raindrops feeling on your skin even when you are dry. We will also discuss some clinical interventions that might reduce the raindrop sensation on your skin.

Why do you feel raindrops on your skin?

You feel raindrops on your skin mainly because of the nervous system’s abnormal response. One of the common causes is paresthesia which involves abnormal sensations in the body without any apparent medical conditions.

However, other neurological diseases can also cause raindrop sensations on your skin like sciatica, and nerve damage. Due to abnormal responses to your nervous system, you might feel raindrops on your legs, hands, chest, abdomen, feet, and arms.

These sensations are often short lived and goes away on their own without any need of clinical interventions. Immediately consult your doctor if these sensation do not subside after few minutes or are constantly occuring.

What neurological factors cause raindrop sensation on the skin?

Various neurological disorders and diseases can cause raindrop sensations on the skin. Some of these factors include:

  • Chronic paresthesia: Acute paresthesia occurs when you put pressure on the nerve (e.g. arm numbness while sleeping).

Chronic paresthesia might occur due to traumatic nerve damage or neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis. It might also be caused by ischemic heart disease, encephalitis and transverse myelitis (1).

  • Sciatica: Sciatic nerve pain can cause chronic and intermittent pain that feels like water going down in the thigh.
  • Carpel tunnel syndrome: Carpel tunnel syndrome can cause nerve damage in the wrist and arm, causing subsequent raindrop sensation on the skin.
  • Peripheral neuropathy: It happens when the nerves of arms, feet, and legs present outside the brain and spinal cord get damaged.

The patient often feels a tingling sensation and a feeling of wetness on their hands and feet despite being dry.

  • Diabetic neuropathy: High levels of sugar in the body (diabetes) can cause nerve damage. It often damages the nerves present in the legs and feet.
  • Multiple sclerosis: Although limited evidence is present, some patients have reported feelings of raindrops on their skin due to multiple sclerosis. 

What other diseases cause raindrop sensation on the skin?

Other diseases and underlying causes which might cause raindrop sensation on the skin include:

  • Poor blood circulation: Onstructed blood vessels can cause poor blood circulation. This leads to raindrop sensations, tingling sensations, numbness, and cold fingers.
  • Tumor: When the tumor or vascular lesion presses against the brain or spinal cord it might cause increased abnormal sensations.
  • Oedema: Water retention in the body might cause raindrop sensations due to fluid accumulation.

Kidney, liver, thyroid and heart disease are common causes of water retention in the body. Some nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Celebrex are also known to cause water retention.

What are the possible treatments of raindrop feeling on the skin?

The raindrop feeling cannot be stopped completely because it is often connected to the underlying disease conditions. Some of the medications that might reduce the intensity of sensations and pain include:

  • Anaesthetic patches: local anaesthetic patches like lidocaine (5%) can be used to reduce the neuropathic pain causing raindrop sensations (2).
  • Antiepileptic drugs: Gabapentin is often used to treat neuropathic pain, numbness, and tingling sensations associated with paresthesia.
  • Capsaicin cream: It is often used to relieve pain associated with neuralgia. 

I often get a feeling of water dripping on my arms but it goes away in seconds. Although some neurological diseases cannot be prevented, it is important to make lifestyle changes to reduce abnormal nerve sensations in the body.

You must take special care of your diet to improve nerve health. Green vegetables (broccoli, and spinach), nuts (walnuts and peanuts), salmon, and fruit (berries) are a rich source of magnesium and helpful in nerve repair.

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Imbelloni LE, Gouveia M, editors. Paresthesia. BoD–Books on Demand; 2012 Feb 29. https://books.google.com.pk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=1H-ZDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP10&dq=chronic+paresthesia&ots=TuUInjQoHK&sig=7a78f2K5VvqOiftOLhxdHTJ0bVs&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=chronic%20paresthesia&f=false


Hans G, Robert D, Verhulst J, Vercauteren M. Lidocaine 5% patch for localized neuropathic pain: progress for the patient, a new approach for the physician. Clinical pharmacology: advances and applications. 2010 Mar 30:65-70. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3262358/