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What causes feels hot to touch? 168 possible conditions


The body is hotter than normal body temperature when touched.

Alternative Names

Feverish, feel hot, feeling hot, feels hot and feverish, hot to touch


Sometimes a person’s skin feels hot to touch due to illness or an environmental situation that causes an increase is temperature. One cause can be dehydration. It’s important to determine if the person has an increased body temperature caused by a fever. If a fever is present, it may be treated with fluids and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like acetominophen or ibuprofen.

Aspirin should not be used to treat fever in anyone under age 17 years or younger. None of these drugs should be used to treat environmental heat illness. The very young, very old, and obese people are especially vulnerable to dehydration. It’s important to make sure they are taking in enough fluids during the day, and protected from extremely hot environmental temperatures.

Common Causes

  • fever
  • high environmental temperature or particularly combined with high humidity
  • not drinking enough fluids (dehydration)
  • sweating too much during exercise
  • wearing clothes that are too heavy
  • drinking alcohol containing beverages
  • medications like anticholinergics, diuretics, phenothiazines, neuroleptics and illicit drugs
  • infections, particularly caused by viruses
  • alcohol withdrawal
  • appendicitis or other body infection
  • sweat gland problem
  • chicken pox
  • fever, fever of unknown origin
  • Crohn’s disease
  • measles
  • German measles
  • giardiasis
  • heat stroke
  • dehydration
  • heat exhaustion
  • heat cramps
  • hepatitis
  • infectious mononucleosis
  • infectious endocarditis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • mastitis
  • mumps
  • sepsis
  • tetanus
  • West Nile Virus

Associated Diagnoses


Keep the person in a cool, shaded place and apply cool wet cloths to their skin. Placing cool compresses on the groin, neck, and armpit helps lower the body temperature. Provide about a half a cup of cool fluids every quarter of an hour.

Watermelon is especially helpful in hot weather because it’s high in natural sugars and fluids and it appeals to kids and the elderly. Popsicles work for the same reason. The important thing is to try to keep the person hydrated with fluids in any way you can.

When to Call 911

Call 911 if:

  • the person loses consciousness
  • the person is confused, lethargic, or delirious
  • the person is disoriented or has a seizure
  • the person is breathing rapidly or has a rapid pulse
  • the person’s condition deteriorates

When to Call Your Provider

Call a doctor if:

  • the person is vomiting and unable to hold down fluids
  • the skin forms "tents" when pinched and does not return to normal
  • the temperature is over 102 degrees F and does not respond to the above measures
Read More

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.


Common Cold Overview

The common cold is a virus that involves symptoms like sneezing, a runny nose and a headache. Learn the causes, symptoms and treatments for the common cold now!

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Cold and Flu Overview

Common colds and influenza are contagious infections that affect the respiratory system. Both are airborne illnesses, spread through coughing and sneezing. Shared symptoms include headache, cough, sore throat, and more.

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Chronic Bronchitis

People often develop acute bronchitis after a viral chest infection. Blue-colored lips ankle or foot swelling can result.

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Strep Throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and pain in the throat. It's especially common in children. Look out for sudden fever, a red throat with white patches, headache, and chills.

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Pharyngitis is inflammation of the pharynx, which is in the back of the throat. It's most often referred to simply as "sore throat" and is very common.

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This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

One life-threatening complication of infection is sepsis, which often occurs in people who are elderly or have weak immune systems. Patches of discolored skin is a symptom of severe sepsis.

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Fever of Unknown Origin

Fever of unknown origin (FUO) refers to the elevation in body temperature for a specified time, for which a cause is not found after basic medical evaluation.

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Acute HIV Infection

Acute HIV infection is the primary stage of infection by the human immunodeficiency virus. There are several telltale symptoms, one of which is a rash.

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RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) Infection

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common virus that causes infections of the lungs and airways. Common symptoms include fever, wheezing, and bluish skin from oxygen deprivation.

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Urinary Tract Infection

UTIs are usually caused by bacteria and can occur in any part of the urinary tract. Symptoms of upper UTIs include pain in the upper back, chills, fever, and nausea.

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Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is a disease that affects much of the tropical region and is caused by one of four dengue viruses. A skin rash between two and five days after the initial fever is a common symptom.

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Food Poisoning

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Food poisoning occurs when you consume foods contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Symptoms are usually uncomfortable but not severe.

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Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a lymphatic system cancer. Symptoms may include swollen lymph nodes, chest pain, fatigue, and fever.

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Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs. A severe and long-lasting cough, fever, and night sweats could indicate an active TB infection.

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Sinus Infections (Sinusitis)

A sinus infection causes the sinuses and nasal passages to become inflamed. Facial swelling is a common sign of this type of infection.

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Viral Gastroenteritis

Viral gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu, is caused by a number of different viruses. Its symptoms usually last for two to three days.

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Lymphangitis is an inflammation of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. It is a network of organs, cells, ducts, and glands.

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Tonsillitis occurs when the tonsils (the lymph tissue in your throat) become infected. Symptoms include sore throat, fever, and swollen tonsils. Fortunately, it's normally easily diagnosed and treated.

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Rhinitis is inflammation of the nasal cavity lining (inside the nose). It is often caused by allergies. It may also be caused by environmental factors such as pollution, weather changes, stress, infections, and som...

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Heat Emergencies

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Heat emergencies are health crises caused by exposure to hot weather and sun. Heat emergencies have three stages: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. All three stages are serious.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.