What causes feels hot to touch? 168 possible conditions

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Definition

The body is hotter than normal body temperature when touched.

Alternative Names

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

Overview

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

Treatments

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.

1

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!

Read more »

2

Cold and Flu Overview

Overview Colds (common colds) and the flu (influenza) are contagious infections that affect the respiratory system. Both are airborne illnesses, spread through coughing and sneezing. Colds typically are confined to th...

Read more »

3

Chronic Bronchitis

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

Read more »

4

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.

Read more »

5

Pharyngitis

Pharyngitis is inflammation of the pharynx (the back of the throat). This can cause soreness, scratchiness, and difficulty swallowing. Most cases occur during colder months when the humidity is low.

Read more »

6

Sepsis

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.

Read more »

7

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.

Read more »

8

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.

Read more »

9

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.

Read more »

10

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.

Read more »

11

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is a disease spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and caused by one of four dengue viruses that are closely related. The viruses that cause dengue fever are related to those that cause yellow fever and Wes...

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12

Food Poisoning

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

Every year, millions of people eat food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites. The result can be food poisoning, an uncomfortable experience characterized by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. One in si...

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13

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is a lymphatic system cancer. Tumors develop from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. NHL is more common than Hodgkin's lymphoma. Many types of cancers can spread to the lymph nodes...

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14

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially fatal contagious disease that can affect almost any part of the body but is mainly an infection of the lungs.

Read more »

15

Sinus Infections (Sinusitis)

A sinus infection, or sinusitis, is a common condition that affects 31 million people in the United States each year. The infection occurs when your sinuses and nasal passages become inflamed. The sinuses are small ai...

Read more »

16

Viral Gastroenteritis

Viral gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines caused by one of any number of viruses. Also known as the stomach flu, viral gastroenteritis can affect anyone throughout the world. This highl...

Read more »

17

Lymphangitis

Lymphangitis is inflammation (swelling) of the lymphatic system, which is a major part of the immune system. The lymphatic system consists of a network of organs, cells, ducts, and glands or "nodes" which can be foun...

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18

Tonsillitis

Tonsils are the two lymph nodes located on each side of the back of your throat. They function as a defense mechanism, helping to prevent infection from entering the rest of your body. When the tonsils themselves becom...

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19

Rhinitis

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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20

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. If left untreated, the firs...

Read more »

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