What Do My Itchy Palms Mean?

What Do My Itchy Palms Mean?

Ever get the feeling that someone is walking over your grave when you have an itch on your hand? You're not alone. Itchy hands are a superstition that dates back centuries. In fact, there's even a belief that the meaning of itchy palms signals that you're coming into money.

While an itchy palm might be a sign that means money or good fortune coming your way, it's also a big annoyance. This is especially true when it begins to interfere with daily tasks.

However, itchy hands can also be a sign of a more serious condition.

For example, an itchy hand might be a symptom of eczema, an inflammatory skin condition. Another type of inflammatory skin condition is contact dermatitis, which is characterized by redness, swelling, and blistering. In rare cases, an itchy hand might be a symptom of leukemia or lymphoma.

But don't worry. In most cases, an itchy hand is nothing more than a nuisance; and there are a few simple things you can do to get relief.

In this article, we're going to talk about the different causes of itchy palms and how to relieve the itch. So give us a hand, slap us five, and read on!

Itchy palms and itchy hands can be a serious condition,

not just a superstition.

Why are my palms itching?

Person with itchy palms

In this article, we cover seven possible reasons for itchy palms: hand eczema, psoriasis, allergic reactions, reactions to medication, cirrhosis, nerve disorders and diabetes. The article also talks about how to stop itching and relieve it.

Hand eczema

Eczema of the hand

One possible cause of itchy palms is hand eczema.

Dyshidrotic eczema is a type of hand eczema that causes small, itchy blisters on the hands and feet. This condition is more common in women than men, and usually affects adults between the ages of 20 and 40.

Those who work in jobs that expose their hands to harsh chemicals or excessive moisture are more likely to get hand eczema. These professions include:

  • catering
  • cleaning
  • hairdressing
  • healthcare
  • mechanic

You may also be at greater risk for hand eczema if you have a family history of it.

The symptoms of hand eczema include dryness, itching, redness, and cracking of the skin. In some cases, blisters may also form.

Relief from eczema itch can be found with over-the-counter (OTC) treatments, such as antihistamines or a dedicated anti-itch cream like Dermeleve®.

Be cautious using any treatments that have steroids in them; long-term use of steroid creams can actually make the eczema worse, and have some serious side effects.

If you’re not seeing any improvement with OTC treatments, or if the eczema is severe, you should see a doctor. They may prescribe a stronger medication or an immunosuppressive drug.


Psoriasis of the hand

When it comes to itchy palms, psoriasis is a common cause.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to produce too many skin cells. These extra skin cells form thick, scaly patches on the skin. The most common areas for psoriasis patches are the scalp, elbows, and knees; but they can also form on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

Though psoriasis has no cure, it can be treated. Also, it is NOT contagious. You cannot “catch it” from someone else.

The symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • red, scaly patches on the skin
  • itching
  • burning sensation
  • soreness
  • dryness

There are a number of different treatments for psoriasis, including:

Topical treatments (creams, gels, ointments)

Topical treatments typically contain corticosteroids, vitamin D3, retinoids, or coal tar.

These treatments can be applied directly to the psoriasis patches. They help to slow the growth of skin cells, reduce inflammation, and relieve itching.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that prolonged use of topical steroids can lead to thinning of the skin and other problems. As such, they should only be used as directed by a doctor.

Light therapy (phototherapy)

UV light therapy

Light therapy involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet (UV). Though UV light is typically associated with sunburn and skin cancer, it can also be used to treat psoriasis. UV light actually helps to slow the growth of skin cells, reduce inflammation, and relieve itching related to psoriasis.

There are two types of light therapy: natural sunlight and artificial UV light.

Natural sunlight can be effective in treating psoriasis, but it is important to be careful. Too much sun exposure can actually make the condition worse. It is best to talk to a doctor before using natural sunlight to treat psoriasis.

Artificial UV light is typically used in a hospital or dermatologist’s office. The light is much stronger than natural sunlight, so it must be used under the supervision of a medical professional. It is also much more focused, so it can be used to treat small areas of skin without affecting the surrounding skin.

Oral or injected medications

For more severe cases of psoriasis, oral or injected medications may be necessary. These medications help to slow the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation by suppressing the immune system.

If you have psoriasis on your hands, it’s important to keep the affected area clean and moisturized. This will help to prevent cracking and further irritation. You should also avoid any harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could further irritate the skin.

Allergic reactions

Contact dermatitis from an allergic reaction

In some cases, itchy palms are a result of repeated exposure to irritants or chemicals that eventually cause an allergy. The condition is called contact dermatitis.

A reaction to an allergen may appear 48 to 96 hours after contact.

Common allergens include:

  • latex
  • certain metals (nickel, chromium, cobalt)
  • chemicals used in hair dyes and perms
  • fragrances
  • preservatives
  • antibacterial agents
  • wool
  • Certain cosmetics, such as foundation, blush, and eye shadow, can also cause allergic reactions.

Reactions to medication

Reactions to medications can cause itchy palms

Itchy palms can also be a side effect of certain medications. Medicines that suppress the immune system, such as those used to treat cancer or autoimmune conditions, are the most likely to cause this side effect.

Other common medications that can cause itchy palms include:

  • antihistamines
  • beta-blockers
  • diuretics
  • hormonal medicines (such as birth control pills)
  • ACE inhibitors

If you’re unsure if the medication you’re taking is causing the itchy palms, talk to your doctor about alternative treatments. Consult your doctor before stopping your medication.


Visual of different types of liver disease, including Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is a condition that occurs when the liver is damaged, causing it to become scarred. This scarring can lead to a build-up of toxins in the blood, which can cause itching in the palms of the hands and other parts of the body.

Other symptoms of cirrhosis include:

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • abdominal pain
  • confusion

Cirrhosis is a serious condition that can be fatal. If you think you may have cirrhosis, it’s important to see a doctor right away.

Nerve disorders

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common nerve disorder that can cause itching in the hands.

Nerve disorders can also cause itchy palms. An example is carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when pressure is placed on the wrist’s median nerve. This pressure can cause tingling, numbness, and pain in the hand, as well as itchiness.

Often, repetitive wrist motions, such as typing, lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also be caused by pregnancy, arthritis, or diabetes.

Most often, the discomfort or itching will start in the palms at night.

An individual should see a physician if they suspect carpal tunnel syndrome.

Diabetes and itching

Diabetes blood sugar level monitor- Diabetes can contribute to itchy hands and palms.

Diabetes is a condition that occurs when there are issues with the level of sugar in the blood. It can cause a number of different symptoms, one of which is itching all over the body, including the palms.

Many types of diabetes can cause itchy skin, including diabetic neuropathy, a condition in which nerve fibers in the hands and feet are damaged.

Several inflammatory chemicals, known as cytokines, are released before the body is damaged, causing itching.

High blood sugar can also damage the small blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the skin.

This damage can cause the skin to become dry, cracked, and itchy.

If you have diabetes and are experiencing itching all over your body, it's important to see your doctor. Complications associated with diabetes can be severe if left untreated.

Additional symptoms to itchy palms

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in addition to itchy palms, you may need to see your doctor:

  • red, inflamed skin with or without thick, dry scales
  • silverish-white scales
  • bleeding or cracking of the skin
  • small blisters that leak or burst
  • rash
  • hives
  • burning or stinging skin

Relief from itchy palms

Regardless of the cause of itchy palms, the most immediate concern is usually finding relief from the itchiness.

There are a few things that can be done at home to help ease the itch:

Apply a cold compress:

This can help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.

Use moisturizing cream or lotion:

This will help keep the skin hydrated and prevent further irritation.

Choose gentle cleansers with natural ingredients:

These will be better for the sensitive skin on your hands and feet because they will be less likely to dry it out or irritate it.

Wear gloves:

This will help protect your hands from further irritation and allow them to heal.

Avoid hot water:

Warming up in a hot shower on a winter day is the best feeling in the world. But this can also be the source of your dry skin.

Use Dermeleve:

Dermeleve helps relieve itchy palms

Dermeleve® is an easy top pick for the easiest, fastest and safest way to relieve itching while moisturizing and protecting your skin. Designed to work in less than five minutes and last for up to five hours, the cream can be applied whenever the itching begins.

Unlike traditional anti itch creams that use steroids, Dermeleve is steroid free, making it safe for everyone to use for as long or frequent as desired.

Wrap up

Itchy palms are an annoying symptom that can have many different causes. Some of these causes are minor and will go away on their own, but others can be more serious. It’s important to see a doctor if you have itchiness along with other symptoms.

In the meantime, for quick and effective itch relief, Dermeleve is an easy top pick to help keep the itching from… getting out of hand. (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves).

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