The itching in the palms of the hands is very annoying. We can go crazy when the burning, irritating itching doesn’t stop. However, this could be the sign of an underlying problem.
Although itchy palms are rarely a sign of a larger, more serious problem. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it can be a sign of a chronic skin condition that needs frequent treatment.
There are many conditions that can be responsible for itchy palms.
Winter weather makes the skin dry. Dry skin can be irritating and itchy. It can also happen if we have been washing our hands more than usual. Both can dry out the skin on your hands and leave your palms itchy and tight. If the palms are really parched, we may also notice uneven scales, scaling, or cracks on their skin.
Certain chemicals or substances can irritate the sensitive skin on your hands. Rubbing or brushing can also irritate the skin. This can cause dryness, flaking, and itching.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
The first signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, where the nerves in the palm of the hand are pinched or compressed, can sometimes include a prickling or tingling sensation in the hands, wrists, or forearms. As the condition progresses, we may also begin to notice itchiness in the palms of our hands.
Taking breaks from typing or other activities that make your hands or wrists uncomfortable and applying ice packs can be helpful for early carpal tunnel syndrome and even make the problem go away. If the condition progresses, we may need to wear a wrist splint, take medication, or even have surgery.
If we are allergic to something that touches, we may experience itchy palms. The itching may not start right away. In some cases, you may not experience itching for several hours after coming into contact with the allergen.
If your hands don’t seem to agree to a new soap, detergent, lotion or even a piece of jewelry, your itchiness could be caused by contact dermatitis. These common allergic reactions can develop when the skin comes into contact with an irritating substance, causing redness, itching, burning, hive-like bumps, and swelling.
This common skin condition causes uncontrolled growth of skin cells. This accelerated rate means that the skin cells cannot shed naturally. Instead, the extra skin cells accumulate on the surface of the skin. In addition to itching, psoriasis can cause painful and swollen joints, cracked skin, and pain in nearby joints.
Psoriasis is chronic, but you may only experience infrequent or temporary episodes of the condition rather than a constant flare-up. It does not usually affect the palms of the hands.
Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is a condition that causes itchy skin. It can cause colored spots on the skin in the affected area. Some will be red in color, while others may be a darker brown or almost gray. Some people will develop small bumps that protrude from the skin.
These bumps can burst and leak fluid. The skin may also be dry. That could lead to cracking and even bleeding. Like psoriasis, eczema flare-ups can come and go. We may have symptoms for a few days or weeks and then not experience them for several months.
It’s rare, but diabetes can cause itchy palms. Diabetes can cause poor blood circulation, and poor blood circulation can lead to itchy skin.
However, most people with diabetes-related itching experience it more in the legs than in the hands.
Itchy palms are not always a symptom of a problem in and of themselves. Sometimes the palms just itch and pose no risk.
Other times, however, it can be an indication of a skin problem. Symptoms beyond an itchy palm can help us determine what is causing the itch. If we have any of these symptoms in addition to itchy palms, we may need to see a doctor:
- Red, inflamed skin with or without thick, dry scales
- Silvery-white scales
- Bleeding or cracking of the skin
- Small blisters that leak or burst
- burning or stinging of the skin
Treatment depends on the cause of the itchy palms. Matching treatment to your symptoms or condition will help you get relief faster.
If we have dry skin, applying a moisturizing lotion to the skin several times a day may be enough to relieve itching. We will look for one that moisturizes the skin with glycerin, lactic acid, topical urea, or moisturizers that reduce water loss, such as petroleum jelly/ointments. The more diluted lotions may not be as good at calming the itch. An unscented option is recommended, too. Some of the highly scented lotions irritate sensitive skin.
When itching is allergy-related, an antihistamine or allergy medicine might be enough. An antihistamine lotion may also be helpful.
For both eczema and psoriasis, both conditions can be mild enough to treat itchy palms with lotion or steroid ointments . Some severe cases of these skin conditions require prescription medications. These medications can slow or stop the body processes that cause these conditions.
Also, early diagnosis of diabetes or a blood glucose problem can help reduce symptoms and side effects. Once diabetes is diagnosed, symptoms may go away if blood glucose levels are properly controlled.
Preventing itchy palms can be as simple as taking proper care of your skin. Some tips can be:
- Stay hydrated . Hydrate the body from the inside out. We will drink plenty of water and eat foods rich in water.
- Use lotion . Thick, moisturizing lotions help skin feel more comfortable and hydrated. This can prevent the skin from becoming dry and itchy.
- Protect hands . If the skin is sensitive, we will try to protect the hands whenever we are going to touch chemical products or solutions that can irritate the skin. We can prove that thick cotton gloves can be useful for daily activities in the cold and for handling dry substances.
- Avoid harsh cleaners and soaps . They can be irritating.