Medical Definition of Cutaneous allodynia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Cutaneous allodynia: Pain resulting from an innocuous stimulus to normal skin or scalp. The stimulus that triggers allodynia is not normally painful. The pain can be provoked by combing or brushing the hair, shaving, showering, wearing glasses or earrings. The pressure of a single strand of hair reportedly can feel like a jab with a white-hot knife. Cutaneous allodynia is believed due to a transient increase in the responsiveness of central pain neurons that process information arising from the skin. It is commonly associated with migraine. From allo- meaning other + -dynia meaning pain.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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