Itchy palms are rarely a chronic condition. In most cases, the itching will stop once a cause is identified and a treatment is chosen.
Definition of Itchy Palms
Itchy palms happen for the same reason as itching on other parts of the human body. When the skin’s itch receptors are stimulated, they send impulses to the brain that processes these signals and identifies them as itching. Itchy palms are a common symptom that has no identifiable cause at most times and resolves on its own within minutes or hours. Itchy palm can be a significant indicator that the skin is injured but itchy palms can become a signal of some hidden medical conditions like liver disease.
What Cause Itchy Palm?
Itchy palms are not a disease, but it is considered a common sign of a skin problem. The following are a few potential itchy palms causes:
- Dry skin (xerosis cutis)
Dry skin will cause the skin to become dry. Inflammation, flakiness, and dryness from the skin will lead to itchy palms. Certain factors that cause dry skin include weather changes, sunlight exposure, or exposure to air-conditioning.
Eczema is a type of dermatitis that is also called allergic dermatitis. Scaly, red, swollen, burning, and itchy palms, fingers, or skin is a common symptom with eczema. Atopic dermatitis:
Atopic dermatitis is considered a subtype of eczema. It is a long-term disease that can produce scaly, thick, flaky, red, and itchy palms or skin. Stress may also lead to episodes of itchy palms related to atopic dermatitis.
- Contact dermatitis:
Contact dermatitis will result after exposure to an irritating foreign substance such as cosmetics, fragrances, soaps, etc. It will cause red, inflamed, and itchy palms or skin that can be very uncomfortable.
An allergic reaction is the most common causes of itchy palms. Allergies occur when the immune system mistakes a normally non-toxic substance as harmful. These substances may include detergent, pollen, and grass. As a result, rashes, hives, eczema, and other skin eruptions may occur, including itchy palms and skin.
- Food allergies and sensitivities:
Food allergies and sensitivities will result when the immune system reacts to foods that are normally harmless. As a result, skin reactions like itchy palms are a common symptom of food sensitivities and allergies.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome:
Itchy palms causes also include carpal tunnel syndrome. The condition is caused from repetitively using the hands. People who have this problem include writers, grocery clerks, assembly-line workers, musicians, and knitters.
Psoriasis will occur when skin cells grow too quickly, and the skin will replicate cells at 10 times the normal rate. Itching palms is a common sign of psoriasis, and it will also produce blisters on the palms.
- Primary biliary cirrhosis:
Primary biliary cirrhosis is a chronic liver disease. One of the early signs of the condition is itching palms and skin. The severe itchiness of the condition will manifest worst during the day or at night.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE):
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder that will kill the body’s healthy cells. Red or itchy palms are symptoms that may occur with SLE. Also, SLE-related rashes can lead to great discomfort in people with itchy palms.
Scabies is a very itchy and contagious skin condition caused by the itch mite Sarcoptesscabiei. Common symptoms of scabies include a pimply rash, tiny blisters and scales, and itchy palms, fingers, wrists, armpits, or elbows.
A skin problem is sometimes a sign of diabetes. Diabetes is characteristic of high blood sugar levels. Eruptivexanthomatosis is a skin condition that is indicative of out-of-control diabetes. It will cause itchy palms, feet, and skin.
- Ringworm (Fungal Infections)
Fungal infections of the skin are usually caused by dermatophytes. It presents with a round ring-like rash which is why it is referred to as ringworm. Most of these skin infections are itchy.
- Palmar Hyperhidrosis (sweaty palms)
If your hand has been sweating a lot recently, the salt content in your sweat will eventually dry the skin on your hands and cause itchy palms.
- Cholestasis of Pregnancy
The intense itching of the palms and soles of feet while expecting a baby is called cholestasis of pregnancy. Usually, when the baby arrives, the itchiness goes away on its own in a few days.
Infection or medications can cause a skin reaction called erythema. This causes a rash of small red raised itchy spots on your palms as well as on other skin areas.
Itchy Palms Symptoms
Itchy palms can happen alone or be accompanied by other symptoms. Below are some normally experienced itchy palms symptoms:
- Palm rash
- Palm lump or swelling or numbness
- Palm bruise, lesions (that could be red or purple in color) or blisters
- Red spots on your palms
- Mild to severe palm pain
- Thickened skin on palms
- Palm numbness or coldness
- Palm inflammation
Beside common symptom that may happen, itchy palms that related to psoriasis can cause:
- red blisters, sometimes with silvery white scales
- painful, swollen joints
- cracked skin that may bleed
- soreness in the nearby joints
Treatment for Itchy Palms
The following are some natural itchy palms treatments:
- Oatmeal and baking soda:
The combination of rolled oats and baking soda can help relieve itchy palms immediately. Baking soda is a natural anti-inflammatory and acid neutralizer. Oatmeal also helps to prevent irritation and sooth the skin.
Lemon juice also makes for an effective home remedy for itchy palms, hands, and skin. Lemons contain anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that protect against the skin.
- Aloe Vera:
Aloe Vera gel makes a great skin soother with potent antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that help for itchy palms and skin.
- Essential fatty acids:
Getting more essential fatty acids (EFAs) is a good way to relieve itchy palms and skin-related conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Good options of essential fatty acids include fish oil, evening primrose oil (EPO), and flaxseed oil, which all contain anti-inflammatory properties that treat skin problems.
- Essential oils:
There are many essential oils with anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe itchy palms and other related irritations.
- Quercetin and vitamin C are also supplements with a natural antihistamine effect, and they are useful when allergies are the cause of itchy palms.
- Vitamin B6 can also reduce nerve-inflammation and the itchy palms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
- To treat biliary cirrhosis, ursodeoxycholic acid can be used. The medication is given to patient to delay the progression of the disease. To manage the itchiness, antihistamines are usually given.
- Antihistamines are usually prescribed to treat chronic itchy palms and severe anaphylaxis.
- Medications and surgical procedures are common treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Antihistamines, antibiotics and steroids are prescribed to sooth the itchy palms associated with eczema.
- For atopic dermatitis, good skin care and emollients are given to reduce the itchiness.
- Immune suppressing drugs like corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide can help manage SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematous).
How to Prevent Itchy Palms
- Preventing itchy palms can be as simple as taking proper care of your skin. Here are some tips.
- Stay hydrated. Moisturize your body from the inside out. Drink plenty of water, and eat water-rich foods.
- Use lotion. Thick lotions and moisturizers that help the skin feel more comfortable and hydrated. This may keep the skin from drying out and itching.
- Protect your hands. If your skin is sensitive, try to protect your hands whenever you’re going to be touching chemicals or solutions that might irritate your skin. Try latex gloves for liquids. Thick cotton gloves may be useful for day-to-day activities in the cold and for handling dry substances.
- Avoid skin reactions to detergents by use a gentle or hypoallergenic detergent and rinse your laundry thoroughly.
- Avoid harsh cleansers and soaps. They can be irritating.
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