Numbness of the face, body, or extremities is one of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis and is often the first symptom experienced.
The numbness may be mild or so severe that it interferes with the ability to use the affected body part. For example, a person with very numb feet may have difficulty walking. Numb hands may prevent writing, dressing, or holding objects safely.
Persons with multiple sclerosis who have severe facial numbness should be very careful when eating or chewing, as they may unwittingly bite the inside of their mouth or tongue.
People with numbness over other parts of the body should be especially careful around fires, hot water and other sources of heat, as they may suffer a burn without realising it.
Fortunately, most instances of numbness are not disabling and tend to remit on their own. In very severe cases, the neurologist may prescribe a brief course of corticosteroids, which may restore sensation.