Superficial somatic pain is associated with the skin, and its seriousness depends on the cause of the pain. It is usually temporary and caused by minor injuries such as cuts and scrapes. Sometimes, however, superficial somatic pain can be a sign of more serious problems such as diabetes, infections, cancer, and nervous system disorders. Pain and its effects can be especially serious in older people. Only a doctor can definitively determine if the cause of superficial somatic pain is serious.