Are you experiencing tingling and itching in your left or right hands? In most cases, the itchy palm is not a disease, and there’s nothing to worry about. However, persistent itchy palms of hands can also indicate an impending health problem. This article will discuss 14 causes of left or right-hand itching.
What is the left or right-hand itching meaning?
When it comes to left or right-hand itching, it can have various interpretations depending on your culture. In some cultures, it is believed that an itch on the left-hand means you are about to receive some money, whereas the right-hand means you will be spending money.
In other cultures, an itch on either hand is said to be a sign of good luck. If you are superstitious, it could signify that something positive is about to happen.
However, it’s important to note that itching in either hand can also signify something else. It could indicate an underlying medical condition such as eczema or psoriasis. It is always best to get it checked out by a doctor if you are experiencing itching, especially if it persists or is accompanied by other symptoms.
14 Common Causes of Left or Right-Hand Itching
Knowing what causes your hand to itch will help you treat it appropriately. If itching persists, see a dermatologist for the correct diagnosis.
1. Dry Skin
Dry skin is one of the common complaints during the cold season. Without applying moisturizer, it can result in cracking and scaling. Although it is most common on the arms, legs, and abdomen, it can also affect your hands, especially when your skin is constantly exposed to cold air. Aside from the cold wind, your dish soap could be the culprit if you aren’t using gloves while washing dishes by hand.
- Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer, making it ideal for treating dry, flaky skin. It contains a good level of fatty acids that can replenish moisture in your skin cells. Consider applying warm coconut oil on your hands, arms and legs before bed.
- Olive oil is also food for your skin as it contains healthy fatty acids and antioxidants. Rub some olive oil on the affected area for 30 minutes before showering.
- If your dish soap causes your skin to dry, switch to another product and wear gloves every time you do the dishes.
2. Flea Bites
If you live in an area where insects, especially fleas, are common, there is a high chance that you may experience flea bites. The bites are itchy and can be painful. They usually appear as small and red bumps. Scratching excessively can damage the skin and result in infection. The best way to prevent and treat flea bites is by controlling the infestation.
- Cut an aloe vera leaf in half and scoop out its gel. Apply it to the affected areas. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water. This treatment will also moisturize the skin and prevent dryness.
- Witch hazel contains anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce redness, inflammation, and itching sensation. Soak a cotton ball in witch hazel and apply it to the affected areas for about ten minutes.
- Oatmeal is also ideal for treating flea bites as it removes inflammatory toxins and reduces irritation. Prepare a paste y mixing oatmeal with honey and plain yogurt. Let it sit on your skin for 30 minutes before rinsing with water.
3. Food Allergy
According to Mayo Clinic, a food allergy occurs after consuming a particular food. Even a tiny amount of allergy-causing food can trigger hives, digestive issues, and breathing problems. It can also cause an allergic reaction that may present as rashes, resulting in itchy hands.
Food allergies are commonly triggered by shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, cow’s milk, wheat, eggs, soy, and fish. In cases of a minor allergic reaction, prescribed or over-the-counter antihistamines may alleviate symptoms.
- Always read labels or ask people what’s in your food before you eat. Know your triggers and avoid them until your condition improves.
- Lemon can strengthen your immune system and prevent symptoms of allergy. Drink lemon juice with honey first thing in the morning and two or three more times throughout the day.
- Apple cider vinegar has antihistamines and other medicinal agents that can help reduce symptoms of food allergies. Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a glass of warm water and drink this twice daily.
4. Latex Allergy
A reaction to specific proteins in natural rubber latex allergy occurs when the body mistakes latex for a harmful element. According to the College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, people at risk include healthcare workers who always wear latex gloves, are often exposed to natural rubber latex, and have had multiple surgeries.
People with a food allergy or hay fever may also develop latex allergies. In addition to itching, rashes, and redness, other symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, cough, watery eyes, and difficulty breathing.
- Avoid products and devices that have latex. For minor reactions, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids or antihistamines to relieve discomfort.
- Before any treatment or test, it is essential to let healthcare providers know about your allergy during surgical or dental procedures.
- Consider wearing a medical alert necklace, bracelet, or other tags to help medical teams treat you in case of severe reactions.
According to Healthline, psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that results in the rapid buildup of skin cells, causing scaling on the skin’s surface. One of the possible causes of left or right-hand itching, this condition often comes and goes. Symptoms can vary from one person to another, but common signs include red patches, scaling spots, itchy bumps on fingers, cracked skin, burning or itching sensation, and stiff joints.
- Your doctor may prescribe topical corticosteroids, vitamin D analogs, retinoids, Anthralin, calcineurin inhibitors, or salicylic acid.
- Take an oatmeal bath to alleviate both inflammation and itching. Doing so will also soothe and soften the skin. To prepare, fill a bathtub with warm water and add one cup of finely powdered oatmeal. Soak your body, especially your hand, for fifteen to 20 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.
- Studies have found that glycerin helps treat the skin by replenishing its lost moisture. Dr. Tanya Kormeili, a clinical professor at UCLA and board-certified dermatologist, explained that glycerin could be helpful for skin problems like psoriasis and eczema.
6. Contact Dermatitis
Another possible cause of left or right-hand itching is contact dermatitis. Caused by direct contact with certain substances, it results in red and itchy rashes. Substances usually trigger such reactions, including cosmetics, soaps, plants, and fragrances. Knowing and avoiding the offending substance is the best way to treat this condition.
- An oatmeal bath can help treat skin rashes and itchy, burning hands and restore moisture.
- Medical News Today explains that vitamin E can alleviate itching, flaking, and dryness associated with eczema. Taking oral vitamin E supplements could produce improvements in symptoms.
- Apply fresh aloe vera three or more times a day. You can also drink aloe vera juice to keep your skin healthy and glowing.
Scabies is a highly contagious skin disease caused by Sarcoptes scabies or itch mites. The infection can be transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact. Doctors recommend treatment for the entire family or groups when a person gets the condition. Its predominant symptoms include itchy fingers and rough burrow tracks made up of tiny bumps or blisters on your skin.
Common infestation sites usually include the palms of the hands, itching between fingers, around the waist, inner elbows, soles of the feet, around the breast, and on the buttocks.
- Doctors usually prescribe Permethrin cream (Elimite), Crotamiton (Eurax), Ivermectin (Stromectol), or Lindane lotion to treat scabies.
- Tea tree oil contains terpinene-4-of compounds that can eliminate the parasite on your skin. It has disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiseptic, and wound-healing properties.
- Neem leaves or neem oil have antifungal and antibacterial properties. It can alleviate the itching sensation and clear the mites within a few days. You can apply neem oil directly on the affected skin or make a paste out of fresh neem leaves.
8. Reactions to Medication
In some cases, itchy hands occur because of something that you have ingested. When an individual has a mild allergic reaction to a new medicine, itching sensations may develop due to histamine reactions. Histamines also tend to collect in higher numbers on feet and hands. So if you are taking a new medication, this could be the reason why you’re experiencing left or right-hand itching.
- Speak to your doctor before stopping the prescribed medication unless rashes and other symptoms are severe.
- Cool washcloths, oatmeal baths, and dry skin can help alleviate itching. Avoid taking hot baths or showers.
- Apply moisturizer on your skin after taking showers to lock in moisture. Opt for silk or cotton clothing.
Also known as skin writing, dermatographia is a skin condition that causes raised wheal, similar to hives, when you lightly scratch your skin. Other signs and symptoms include itching, increased red lines, inflammation, and swelling. Most people with dermatographia don’t seek treatment as the lines or welts disappear within 30 minutes.
- Avoid scratching your skin, as it will aggravate the condition. Keep your skin moisturized, and refrain from wearing clothing made of itchy materials, such as wool.
- Apply fresh aloe vera on irritated skin. Avoid hot baths or showers, and don’t use harsh soaps.
- Nettles have antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate swelling and itching sensation. Prepare tea by adding one tablespoon of dry nettle leaves to one cup of hot water. Let it steep for fifteen minutes, and enjoy.
Shingle is a viral infection that usually occurs as a single strip of blisters around your torso’s right or left side. However, it can also develop hands, fingers, faces, genitals, and eyes.
Caused by a varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox, this condition is not life-threatening but can be painful, itchy, and annoying. Rashes usually begin a few days after tingling or pain, and fluid-filled blisters may also open and crust over.
- There is no cure for shingles. Antiviral drugs can reduce the risk of complications and accelerate your skin’s healing process.
- The soothing and anti-irritating properties of oatmeal can provide relief from constant itchiness, pain, and irritation associated with shingles. Add two cups of oatmeal to your bathtub, or apply the oatmeal paste directly to the affected areas.
- Prepare licorice tea and wait for it to cool down. Apply it directly to the affected areas three times daily.
According to Medical News Today, people with diabetes can experience itching due to damaged nerve fibers in the outer layers of the skin. Diabetes-related itching is peripheral neuropathy or polyneuropathy, which occurs when high levels of blood glucose damage nerve fibers in the hands and feet.
Persistent itching between fingers may signify that a person with diabetes is at risk of nerve damage. However, itching can also be caused by a bacterial infection, fungal infection, poor circulation, or dry skin.
- For localized itching, apply hypoallergenic or gentle moisturizer after showering. Do not apply lotion between your toes as it can increase the risk of developing a fungal
- Do not take hot baths, as they can remove the skin’s natural moisture.
- Manage diabetes and prevent your blood sugar levels from increasing too high. If at-home treatments don’t work, see a doctor for a proper evaluation.
Cirrhosis is an irreversible liver disease caused by many liver problems, such as chronic alcoholism and hepatitis. Whenever your liver is injured, it repairs itself, and scar tissues form in the process. However, the more scar tissues develop, the more difficult it is for the liver to function well.
Liver damage caused by cirrhosis cannot be undone. If diagnosed early and treated immediately, further damage can be reduced and, in rare cases, reversed.
The signs and symptoms of cirrhosis usually occur when liver damage is extensive. These may include itchy skin, fatigue, bruising or bleeding easily, nausea, yellow discoloration in the eyes and skin, and fluid accumulation in the abdomen. You may also experience swelling in your legs, confusion, redness in the palms, weight loss, and breast enlargement in men.
- When detected early, it may be possible to reduce damage to the liver by treating the leading cause of the problem. If the reason is alcohol abuse, it is vital to receive treatment for alcohol dependency.
- Individuals with cirrhosis caused by the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease should lose weight, maintain adequate protein consumption, and control blood sugar levels.
- Your doctor may prescribe medications to slow the progression of liver cirrhosis.
13. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
One of the possible causes of left or right-hand itching or itchy wrist is carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition causes tingling, numbness, itching, pain, and weakness in the affected hand and arm. It occurs due to pressure on the median nerve that runs from your forearm to your hand through the carpal tunnel.
Anything that irritates or squeezes the median nerve can result in carpal tunnel syndrome. It is usually caused by repeated wrist motions, such as improper wrist positioning while using your mouse or keyboard and prolonged exposure to vibrating tools. Health conditions that can increase one’s risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome include diabetes, fluid retention, thyroid dysfunction, hypertension, and trauma to the wrist.
- To prevent further damage, it is essential to treat carpal tunnel syndrome as soon as symptoms develop. Take frequent breaks to rest your hands, and do not indulge in activities that aggravate symptoms.
- Nonsurgical treatments include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, and wrist splinting.
- If the condition is severe, surgery may be required to relieve pressure.
14. Pitted Keratolysis
Pitted keratolysis is a bacterial skin infection that affects the palms of the hands or soles of the feet, but it is more common on the bottom of the feet. People with this condition have clusters of small pits more visible when the skin is wet.
- Your doctor may prescribe topical antiseptic, antibiotic, or drying agents, including Clindamycin, Erythromycin, Benzoyl peroxide, Fusidic acid, and Mupirocin.
- Shots of botulin may be recommended in cases of severe infection.