Burning Skin On Face Anxiety Symptoms

Written by Jim Folk
Medically reviewed by Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated May 19, 2021

burning skin on face anxiety symptoms

Burning skin sensation on the face anxiety symptom description:

This anxiety symptom is of often described as:

  • Feels like your skin is burning as though you have a sunburn, but there is no real reason for your skin to be burning.
  • The skin on your face may feel hot and burning, but there are no burn marks.
  • The skin on your face may have a burning sensation even though there isn’t any physical reason for it.
  • Burning sensation in skin on face.
  • Burning skin on face but no rash.

This burning skin on the face sensation can affect one small spot on the face, a medium-sized patch, encompass a large area, or affect the entire face.

This burning skin on the face sensation can affect the same spot over and over again, randomly change from location to location, or randomly change in size.

This burning skin on the face sensation can occur rarely, frequently, or persist indefinitely.

This burning skin on the face feeling may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.

This face symptom can precede, accompany, or follow an episode of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and elevated stress, or occur ‘out of the blue’ and for no apparent reason.

This burning skin on the face feeling can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe. It can also come in waves, where it’s strong one moment and eases off the next.

This burning skin on the face feeling can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.

All of the above combinations and variations are common.

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What causes a burning skin on the face feeling?

Medical Advisory

Behaving in an apprehensive manner, such as worrying, activates the body’s stress response. The stress response brings about a great many physiological, psychological, and emotional changes in the body to enhance the body’s ability to deal with danger – to either fight or flee, which is why the stress response is often referred to as the fight or flight response.[1][2]

The stress response achieves these changes through stress hormones, which are stimulants. Because stress hormones have a direct effect on the body’s nervous system, which includes the brain, too frequent stress responses can aggravate the nervous system causing it to act abnormally.[3] This burning skin sensation on the face symptom is an example of how an overly stimulated nervous can affect the nerve endings on the face, causing them to feel like they are being burned even though they actually aren’t.

Even though this anxiety symptom can feel odd, it’s not harmful or an indication of a serious illness. It’s just an indication that the body is chronically stressed, and therefore, exhibiting symptoms of stress.

People who have been under a lot of stress commonly experience this symptom.

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Burning skin on the face treatment

Because this anxiety symptom is caused by an overly stressed and stimulated body, which we call stress-response hyperstimulation, reducing your body’s stress and giving it ample time to recover is the best way to eliminate it.

As your body’s stress and stimulation levels diminish, this burning skin on the face symptom will subside. You have to keep in mind, however, that it may take a lot longer to reduce your body’s stress than you think. That’s because once the body becomes stress-response hyperstimulated, it can take a long time for it to recover, and to the point where the body stops sending symptoms of stress.

Nevertheless, as the body calms down and recovers, it eliminates symptoms of stress-response hyperstimulation, including having a burning skin on the face feeling.

For a more detailed explanation about the cause of anxiety-related burning skin, see our "Burning Skin Symptoms."

For a more detailed explanation about anxiety symptoms including burning skin on the face, why symptoms can persist long after the stress response has ended, common barriers to recovery and symptom elimination, and more recovery strategies and tips, we have many chapters that address this information in the Recovery Support area of our website.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – which we call the underlying factors of anxiety – a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources

Return to our anxiety disorders signs and symptoms page.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including the anxiety symptom burning skin on the face feeling.


1. Selye, H. (1956). The stress of life. New York, NY, US: McGraw-Hill.

2.Berczi, Istvan. “Walter Cannon's ‘Fight or Flight Response’ - ‘Acute Stress Response.’” Walter Cannon's "Fight or Flight Response" - "Acute Stress Response", 2017.

3. Teixeira, Renata Roland, et al. “Chronic Stress Induces a Hyporeactivity of the Autonomic Nervous System in Response to Acute Mental Stressor and Impairs Cognitive Performance in Business Executives.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2015.