Why Are My Palms Itchy?


Medically examined by: Julie Forero, DO

The superstition of the itchy palm says that with itchy palms you will experience happiness, make money or meet someone. But in reality, itchy palms are nothing more than a skin or health condition that causes itching. So what causes itchy palms?

Common causes of itchy palms

If you’re wondering, “Why are my palms itchy?” one of these problems could be the cause.

Dry skin

Itching may occur due to dry skin. You may not use hand cream often enough, or you may have a job that requires you to wash your hands frequently or soak your hands in water, which dries out the skin. The chemicals in cleaning products can also strip moisture from your hands and cause irritation that triggers itching.

You are more likely to develop itchy palms when the air is dry, e.g. B. in winter, or if you live in a dry part of the country.


Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Itching is one of the signs of eczemaan inflammatory skin condition that also includes cracking, bleeding and Dryness to the point of flaking and flaking. A bad case of hand eczema can even cause your fingers to swell.

Eczema can be treated with over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream, prescription topical corticosteroid formulations, and prescription drugs nonsteroidal creams and ointments that suppress the immune system, and aAntihistamines (if the eczema is caused by allergies). More severe cases can be treated with biologic drugs (injected) or oral immune-modifying drugs such as methotrexate or cyclosporinee. Phototherapy (light therapy) is another option.

contact dermatitis

Itching, redness, swelling, and in severe cases, tiny, fluid-filled blisters are all symptoms of allergic contact dermatitisan allergy to something you touch. Common allergens include poison ivy, latex, fragrances, preservatives in shampoos and other products, and ingredients in cleaning products and metals in rings and other jewelry. These skin allergies often get worse over time.

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Irritant contact dermatitis, which causes an itchy red rash, is caused by repeated exposure to irritating soaps, detergents, or industrial chemicals.

contact dermatitis is often treated with oral antihistamines and steroid creams. If your case is severe, you may be prescribed an oral steroid. Phototherapy can also be helpful for chronic, severe allergies.


Psoriasis, an immune-mediated disease that causes skin cells to grow too quickly, which can cause itching and patches of thick, red skin and silvery scales. The disease can affect any area of ​​the skin, including the palms of the hands. It is are treated differently, including topical and oral drugs, phototherapy (light therapy), and injected or infused biologics.



Diabetes and dry, itchy skin go hand in hand for many reasons. For example, when there is too much sugar in the blood, the body pulls more fluid from the cells to produce urine, which carries sugar out of the body. Diabetes also makes you more prone to skin conditions that can cause itching, such as: B. fungal infections.

Diabetes is often treated with insulin injections. A number of other injected or oral medications may also be prescribed. Getting your blood sugar under control can help relieve itching. If your palms are itchy because you’ve developed a yeast infection, your doctor will likely recommend a topical or oral antifungal treatment.

liver disease

Several types of liver disease can cause itching. Examples include primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), which is thought to be an autoimmune disease and affects mostly women. Itchy hands and feet can be the first sign of PBC. Fatigue is another early symptom. Chronic hepatitis C, a lifelong liver infection caused by a virus, can cause itching anywhere on the body.


Researchers have several theories as to why certain liver diseases cause itching, but none have been confirmed.

Doctors use blood tests and imaging tests as needed to diagnose PBC. Blood tests can confirm chronic hepatitis C.

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In addition to treating liver disease, itching can be relieved with the use of over-the-counter topical corticosteroids (hydrocortisone). If you need more relief, your doctor may prescribe one of several medications that target possible underlying causes.

Treatment of itchy palms

Moisturizing, avoiding allergens, applying a cool, damp cloth, and treating underlying conditions can go a long way in relieving itchy palms in many cases.

If you’re not sure what’s causing your palm itch, it’s a good idea to see a board-certified dermatologist for an evaluation. Some skin abnormalities of the palms can indicate a serious condition. Tripe palms, for example, is a very rare condition that causes thickening of the skin on the palms and feet and can cause itching. It is linked to several types of cancer.

How to prevent itching on the palm

A handful of lifestyle changes can reduce palm itchiness and help keep it at bay.

  • Wash your hands in lukewarm water instead of hot water.
  • Use a gentle, fragrance-free soap.
  • Apply a fragrance-free moisturizer or ointment regularly—not lotion. Lotions contain more water and don’t lock in moisture as well. Ingredients to look out for include dimethicone, glycerin, petroleum jelly, ceramides, and shea butter. Cetaphil, Eucerin, and CeraVe are good brands to try.
  • If your hands are extremely dry, try putting cream or ointment on them before bed. Cover them with socks or gloves to protect your sheets.
  • Wear gloves in cold weather.
  • Wear gloves for cleaning and dishwashing. If you have a reaction to latex, wear rubber or PVC gloves with cotton linings, or PVC gloves over cotton gloves.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the dry indoor air. Aim for a humidity level of 30% to 50%.

Written by: Jessica Brown, a health and science writer/editor based in Nanuet, New York. She has written for Prevention Magazine,,, and many other media outlets.


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