What Is Itching Palm?
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Itching Palm - Causes, and Treatment

Published on Jan 19, 2023 and last reviewed on Aug 10, 2023   -  4 min read


Itching palm is a common skin condition affecting the hands. It irritates the hands and may interfere with daily tasks. Read this article to know more.


Dermatitis is a term that describes irritating skin conditions. Eczema is the term used to describe dry, bumpy, and itching conditions. Itchy palms were certainly annoying. They can make one drive mad when itching and burning are caused. But itching the palm is definitely a sign of some other underlying serious problem. These itchy palms may be a sign of a serious underlying condition that needs frequent treatments. Identifying the underlying cause of what is causing itching and any other symptoms accompanied by itching may help in diagnosing and starting with the treatment that provides quick relief.

What Is Hand Dermatitis?

Hand dermatitis is a common condition causing acute or chronic disorder that affects the dorsal and palmar aspects of the hands due to various causes. Irritation seen on the hands may interfere with the daily routine.

Who Gets Hand Eczema?

Hand dermatitis is commonly caused, especially in younger adult females, around 20 to 35 % in all forms of dermatitis. This may also occur at any age, including during childhood. This is particularly seen in people with skin conditions like atopic dermatitis. Hand dermatitis is commonly seen in industries that involve wet work or exposure to chemicals such as the following:

This itching is mainly caused due to contact with irritants, specifically with contact allergies.

What Causes the Itching Palm?

Itching may be annoying when it occurs constantly. It causes disturbances while doing work with hands. Following are some of the reasons for itchiness in palms.

Hand Eczema: Non-contagious condition that may cause itching on the palms, red skin, cracking, dryness, and blisterings. Hand eczema, called dyshidrotic eczema, causes a person to have small itching blisters, specifically seen on the hands and sometimes in the feet. People likely to have hand eczema include those working in certain professions in which their hands are exposed more to chemicals. The professions at risk include:

  • Catering person.
  • Cleaning professions.
  • Hairdressing professions.
  • Healthcare professionals.
  • Mechanic professions.
  • Patients with a family history of hand eczema are at a higher risk for this condition.

Allergic Reactions: Sometimes, itchy palms are one of the results of repeated exposure to irritants or chemicals that eventually result in allergic reactions. This condition is called contact dermatitis. This allergic reaction may appear about 48 to 96 hours after contact with the allergen. Other common allergens or irritants include metals, such as rings and other jewelry.

  • Perfumes.
  • Latex gloves.
  • Soaps.
  • Disinfectants.
  • Antiseptics or antibacterial substances.
  • Dust and the soil.
  • Highly chlorinated water.

Diabetes: This occurs when the person has diabetes. Too high a blood sugar level can cause dry skin that also feels itchy. Itchy skin appears with or without red or flesh-colored bumps present on the palms and other areas of the body.

Reactions to Medications: Sometimes, the itchy palms may develop due to doing something that a person has ingested rather than something on their hands that has been in contact with the substances. When the person has a mild allergic reaction to a new medication, such as histamine reactions in the body, he can have itching. The palms particularly cause itching in cases of histamine allergies, causing itching on the palms and the feet. A person should consult with the doctor before stopping a prescribed medication unless the symptoms are severe.

Cirrhosis: Autoimmune disorder is the primary form of biliary cholangitis or primary biliary cirrhosis that can cause itchy and blotchy palms. Primary biliary cirrhosis affects the liver and the stomach. The bile that travels between these two organs builds up in the liver causing damage and scarring. In addition to the itchy palms, a person with this liver disorder may experience the following:

  • Blotchy palms. Nausea.
  • Bone pain.
  • Jaundice.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Dark urine.

This primary biliary cirrhosis is seen more commonly in women. The cause is unknown. A person with primary biliary cirrhosis can take a cholestyramine medicine to reduce the itching symptoms.

Nerve Disorders: Some cases with nerve damage to the hands result from conditions such as diabetes that cause itchy palms. Other dysfunctions of the hand nerves may have similar effects, including carpal tunnel syndrome. In carpal tunnel syndrome, pressure on the median nerve in the hand causes numbness, weakness, itching, and pain. The itching or discomfort usually starts in the palms and most commonly occurs at night.

Diabetes and Itching: Most people having diabetes will be seen with itching of the palms and the feet. Diabetes may cause itchy skin in several ways, such as:

  • Diabetic neuropathy is one of the types of nerve damage that people with diabetes might experience that lead to damaged nerve fibers in the hands and feet. Before the damage occurs, the body releases inflammatory chemicals that are called cytokines, causing itching.
  • Complications of diabetes include liver and kidney failure, and both of these may cause the skin to itch as a symptom.
  • A person might experience an allergic reaction to new diabetes medication, which may lead to itchiness. A person with diabetes may experience an itchy type of skin, so they should consult a doctor for necessary treatment as soon as possible. The irritated, itchy skin is more prone to infection, and diabetes reduces a person's ability to fight the infection that has occurred in an individual.

What Are the Treatment Options for Itching Palms?

Treatment options will vary based on the underlying itchy palms. Some recommended treatments may include:

  • Cool Damp Cloth: Placing the wet cloth on the palms for about five to ten minutes can help relieve the itching sensation. An ice pack may also be effective in itching hands.

  • Topical Steroids: Corticosteroids can reduce the itching and redness caused on the palms during flare-ups. One should avoid using steroid creams too regularly as they may cause thinning of the skin surface.

  • Moisturizer: Moisturizing often can help in reducing itching. Keeping the skin moisturizer in the refrigerator can make the treatment more effective. When itching is caused due to eczema, moisturizing may be especially important after washing the hands, particularly after drying.

  • Ultraviolet Light Therapy: A person having hand eczema or other severe irritation may respond to ultraviolet light. A ray may help reduce the itching symptoms.


If a person is experiencing itchy palms with difficulty in breathing, they should seek immediate medical attention. This may indicate a skin reaction that results in anaphylaxis or breathing difficulties. One should consult the doctor for the best treatment option.

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Last reviewed at:
10 Aug 2023  -  4 min read




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