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Numbness is a loss of feeling in an area of your body. You don't feel touch, temperature, or pain. Numbness can be caused by nerve damage or neuropathy. Hand-foot syndrome can increase the risk of numbness.

Certain breast cancer treatments can cause numbness:

Duragesic (chemical name: fentanyl), a pain medicine, also may cause numbness or tingling in your hands or feet.

Managing numbness

  • Protect numb areas. If your feet are numb, wear thick socks and shoes to avoid injury that you can’t feel.
  • Wear extra warm clothing in cold weather to protect numb areas from frostbite.
  • Use care when showering and try not to let the water get too hot. You might get burned without feeling it.
  • Use potholders when cooking so you don’t unknowingly burn yourself.
  • Wear gloves to garden and wash dishes to keep from cutting or burning yourself.
  • Immediately treat any cuts and scrapes. Inspect your fingers, toes, hands, and feet daily. Treat any cuts and scrapes right away to avoid infection.
  • Consider complementary and holistic medicine techniques such as acupuncture, massage, and guided imagery to help regain feeling in numb areas.
  • Talk to your doctor about whether physical therapy or exercises may help you.

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