Have you ever experienced an intense itchiness on the palms of your hands? If so, you may have wondered what could be causing this uncomfortable sensation. Some believe an itchy right palm signifies financial gain, while an itchy left palm signifies money will be spent. Others believe that an itchy palm means that you’re going to receive a visitor or that you’re going to experience a significant life change.
Whether you believe in these superstitions or not, one thing’s for sure – an itchy palm can be incredibly annoying and distracting. In this article, we’ll discuss 9 common causes of itchy palms with treatment.
Symptoms of Itchy Palm
Itchy palms are often accompanied by other symptoms that may vary depending on the underlying cause. Common symptoms include:
- Redness: The palms may appear reddened or flushed.
- Dryness: The skin on the palms can become dry and flaky.
- Swelling: Swelling or puffiness may be observed in the palms.
- Blisters: In some cases, itchy palms can develop blisters or raised bumps.
9 Common Causes and Treatments for Itchy Palms
Here are the possible causes of itchy palms:
1. Dry Skin
Our skin is the body’s first line of defense, and many factors can leave the skin itchy and dry. For example, staying under the sun for too long can damage the skin and result in dryness. Other causes of dry skin may include:
- Harsh soaps – If harsh soaps cause dry skin, switch to mild and fragrance-free soaps.
- Winter – You can install a humidifier to keep enough moisture in your home.
- Taking a bath with hot water – A hot shower may feel good, but it does not help the skin or even dry. It is best to use lukewarm water and keep your shower time short to prevent moisture loss from your skin.
- Aging – The production of collagen in the skin, as well as its elasticity, decreases. This may lead to dryness and cause itchy palms. Ensure you always have a bottle of moisturizing lotion or apply natural remedies, such as aloe vera.
A skin problem can be the first symptom of diabetes. One of the skin problems of diabetes is eruptive xanthomatosis, which makes the feet or hands itch. The legs, buttocks, and arms can also be itchy if the diabetes is out of control. Other signs and symptoms of eruptive xanthomatosis include:
- High cholesterol
- Small bumps on the skin
- Redness around the bumps
The common symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, intense hunger, weight gain or weight loss, extreme thirst, irritability, blurred vision, increased fatigue, itchy skin, skin or yeast infection, swollen gums, and numbness or tingling sensation in hands and feet.
Scabies is an itchy and contagious skin disease caused by the eight-legged itch mite Sarcoptes scabiei. It digs into the top layer of the skin and lays eggs, which cause scabies.
The transmission mode is direct skin-to-skin contact, but you do not get scabies from quick contact such as a hug or handshake. The signs and symptoms of scabies include:
- Skin rash composed of blisters and red bumps
- Red or skin-colored burrows
- Sores and scales
- Itchiness of the entire body or certain areas like between fingers, elbow, armpit, or wrist
The treatments for scabies include topical or oral scabicidal drugs.
Another condition that can cause itchy palms is psoriasis. It is one of the most puzzling and persistent skin problems. This condition is characterized by multiplying skin cells up to ten times faster than average.
It commonly occurs on the scalp, elbows, and knees and may also affect the soles of the feet and palms. Many causes lead to psoriases, such as stress, emotional trauma, immune system defects, and streptococcal infection.
The signs and symptoms may vary depending on the type of psoriasis a person has. The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, and its symptoms may include the following:
- Plaques of crust or scales on the scalp
- Plaques of red skin, which is usually covered with scales. These painful and itchy lesions may crack and bleed.
- Discoloration or pitting of toenails and fingernails.
Other types of psoriasis are:
- Erythrodermic psoriasis is characterized by shedding scales and the skin’s fiery redness. The causes include severe sunburn, certain medication, withdrawal from psoriasis treatment, and infection.
- Guttate psoriasis – characterized by red spots on limbs and torso. The cause may be a respiratory infection, skin injury, or antimalarial and beta-blocker medications.
- Inverse psoriasis – characterized by red, shiny lesions. These commonly appear in the groin area, under the breasts, and armpits.
- Pustular psoriasis – characterized by red and scaly skin on the palms and feet.
If you think that your itchy palms are caused by psoriasis, visit a dermatologist to have a proper examination of your skin.
Eczema can also cause itchy palms as the skin becomes irritated or inflamed. No matter which area is affected by eczema, it is continually itchy.
In some cases, the itch begins even before the rashes appear. It usually appears on the back of the knees, face, hands, wrists, or feet. The areas affected appear thicker, dry, reddish, and scaly.
The exact cause of eczema is still unknown, but it is associated with an overactive immune system reaction to an allergen or irritant. This condition commonly runs in families with a history of asthma or allergies.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. The term atopic means a group of diseases with the inherited possibility of developing allergic conditions, such as hay fever and asthma.
See your doctor if you develop an itchy rash and your family has a history of asthma or eczema. Your doctor may recommend the following:
- Ultraviolet light therapy
- Drugs for controlling the reaction of the immune system
Other treatments are:
- Use mild soap and moisturizer. Do not use harsh soaps that can dry the skin.
- Take short showers.
- Manage stress levels by exercising, doing your hobbies, or spending time with your family or friends.
- Use a humidifier. Dry air can make eczema severe.
6. Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC)
Primary biliary cirrhosis leads to skin itching or pruritus. Damages cause it to the bile ducts in the liver, and the tissue is replaced with fibrosis (scar tissue).
As more fibrosis occurs, liver function is affected. The cause of PBC is still unknown, but it may be associated with the body’s immune system. While other people do not develop any symptoms, some signs and symptoms of primary biliary cirrhosis include:
- Pruritus or itching
- Discomfort in the upper abdomen
- Dry mouth and eyes
- Vaginal dryness
- Yellowing of the white part of the eyes
- Yellowing of the skin
If the condition is already worse, a person may experience premature bone thinning (osteoporosis), fluid building up in the abdomen, or bleeding of enlarged veins in the rectum, stomach, and esophagus.
The treatment for PBC is tough as the body’s immune system is affected. The treatment focuses on alleviating the symptoms, treating the complications, and preventing other health conditions from occurring due to damage to the liver.
One of the medicines given to patients diagnosed with PBC is ursodiol. This helps move the bile from the liver and into the small intestines.
If diagnosed and treated early, it can improve the function of the liver. It may also keep you from needing a transplant. See your doctor immediately if you are experiencing an itchy palm and other symptoms.
7. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the body’s healthy cells. It is a chronic disease with stages of worsening signs and symptoms.
The exact cause of this condition is not known. Still, there are factors related to this disease, such as genetics and environmental factors, including trauma, ultraviolet rays, emotional or physical stress, certain medications, and viruses.
Most patients can live an everyday life along with regular treatment. The common symptoms include:
- Joint pain and swelling
- Hair loss
- Rash on nose and cheeks (butterfly rash)
- Problems in blood-clotting
- Bluish or whitish fingers with a tingling sensation
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of SLE, see your doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment. The treatments for SLE may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications for joint pain
- Steroid creams for rashes
- Antimalarial drugs for joint and skin problems
- Corticosteroids and other medicines for reducing the response of the immune system
Severe SLE condition may lead to other complications, including stroke, heart inflammation, kidney failure, memory or behavioral changes, seizures, and inflammation of the linings of the lungs.
8. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The compression of the median nerve leads to carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition results from too much typing, writing, and other physical activities that require using your hands and fingers.
The most common signs and symptoms include itchiness of the palm, tingling, and numbness of the affected hand.
The treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome include medications, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and corticosteroids, to soothe the pressure of the nerve. A surgical procedure is required if the median nerve compression is already severed.
9. Food Allergies
You may experience an itchy palm due to allergic reactions to foods such as milk, eggs, peanuts, seafood, and soy. If the cause of your itchy palm is a food allergy, you can alleviate the itchiness with antihistamines.
Home Remedies for itchy palm
12 Best Home Remedies for Itchy Palm
Here are the 12 best home remedies for itchy palm:
1. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is a natural remedy widely known for its soothing and healing properties. It can help relieve itching and inflammation in the palms.
Extract fresh aloe vera gel from the leaves of the plant and apply it directly to the affected area. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse with cool water. Repeat this remedy twice daily for best results.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has moisturizing properties that effectively reduce itching and dryness in the palms.
Gently warm coconut oil and massage it onto your palms in circular motions. Let it absorb into the skin for about 30 minutes before washing it off. Repeat this remedy daily to keep your palms well-hydrated and itch-free.
Oatmeal is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent remedy for itchy palms.
Prepare an oatmeal bath by adding a cup of finely ground oatmeal to warm bathwater. Soak your palms in the oatmeal bath for 15-20 minutes. The oatmeal will help relieve itchiness and leave your palms feeling refreshed.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda can relieve itchy palms by balancing the skin’s pH levels and reducing inflammation.
Mix equal parts of baking soda and water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water. Use this remedy once or twice a day until the itchiness subsides.
5. Cold Compress
A cold compress can help alleviate itchiness and reduce swelling in the palms. Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean cloth and apply it to the itchy area for 5-10 minutes.
The cold temperature will numb the area and provide temporary relief from itching. Repeat this remedy as needed throughout the day.
6. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can help soothe itchy palms and reduce inflammation. Soak a cotton ball in witch hazel and apply it to the affected area.
Leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it with cool water. Witch hazel can be used multiple times a day to relieve itchiness.
7. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve itchiness and prevent infection. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with carrier oil like coconut or olive oil.
Apply the mixture to the itchy palms and massage gently. Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it off. Repeat this remedy twice a day for optimal results.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can help balance the skin’s pH levels and provide relief from itchy palms. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a bowl.
Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and apply it to the affected area. Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Use this remedy once or twice a day to reduce itchiness.
9. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has soothing properties that can help calm itchy and irritated skin. Brew a cup of chamomile tea and let it cool down.
Dip a clean cloth into the tea and apply it to the itchy palms. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Chamomile tea can be used several times a day for relief from itching.
10. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt can help reduce inflammation and provide relief from itchy palms. Dissolve half a cup of Epsom salt in warm water. Soak your palms in the solution for 15-20 minutes. The Epsom salt will help soothe the itchiness and promote healing. Repeat this remedy as needed.
11. Calamine Lotion
Calamine lotion is a popular remedy for relieving itchiness and irritation in the palms. Apply a thin layer of calamine lotion to the affected area and let it dry. The lotion will create a protective barrier and provide relief from itching. Reapply the lotion whenever necessary.
12. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil has cooling and soothing properties that can help alleviate itchiness in the palms. Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with a carrier oil and apply it to the itchy area.
Massage gently for a few minutes and leave it on. Peppermint oil can be applied multiple times a day for relief from itching.
1. Can I use these home remedies if I have sensitive skin?
Yes, most of these home remedies use natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin. However, it’s always advisable to perform a patch test before applying any remedy to avoid an adverse reaction.
2. Can itchy palms be a sign of an underlying health condition?
In some cases, itchy palms can be a symptom of an underlying health condition. If the itching persists or is accompanied by other unusual symptoms, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.
3. Are there any preventive measures for itchy palms?
Maintaining good hand hygiene, avoiding irritants, wearing gloves when working with chemicals or allergens, and moisturizing regularly can help prevent itchy palms.
4. Can I combine multiple home remedies?
Yes, you can try combining different home remedies to find the best solution for your itchy palms. However, testing each remedy individually is essential to identify any potential allergies or adverse reactions.
5. When should I seek medical help for itchy palms?
If the itchiness persists or worsens despite trying home remedies, or if you experience other concerning symptoms, it’s advisable to seek medical assistance for a proper evaluation and guidance.