Itching palms bring only one thought, and that is, If you’re going to lose money or if you will gain money. You will naturally look down on which hand is bothering you and from there you decide whether it is time to rejoice or despair.
The old wives’ tale should be the last thought one must have when their palms start to itch. It could be an important sign of an underlying disease, which is trying to tell you to get yourself checked.
1. Top Things to Look Out For When Your Palms Itches
Itchy palms can signify a lot many things. An itchy palm could tell you about a number of diseases that could be affecting your body. There are a host of diseases that could manifest their initial symptoms in the form of itchy palms.
The most commonly associated disease with itchy palms is eczema which is also known as atopic dermatitis. There are other diseases that cause itchy palms but have different sources of origin. Like certain diseases like urticaria, scabies originate from the skin itself.
Other diseases like uremia, chronic hepatitis which is a disease of the liver, and nerve disorders take origin from the different organs of the body, and itchy skin and itchy palms may be one of the many symptoms they manifest.
Another reason for why palms itch is allergy, also called contact dermatitis. The source of this allergy could be anything that your hands come in contact with.
A slightly different reason that the medical community also associates with itchy palms is a psychiatric one like excessive stress, depression, and so on and so forth.
Diabetes is a prevalent lifestyle disorder that reduces our bodies’ healing capacity. It makes our bodies more susceptible to infections. A fungal infection that can occur independently or in conjunction with diabetes known as Tinea Manuum, can also be responsible for itchy palms.
The medical term for itching is Pruritis. A doctor referring to your itching as pruritus should not be a cause for alarm.
Usually conditions like eczema, contact dermatitis, scabies, and urticaria which cause not only itchy palms but also itching of skin on other areas of the body as well, can become chronic. Itching which becomes chronic lasts for more than 6 weeks.
Let us try to understand each condition in a little more detail.
1.1. Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition. There are different reasons that can be attributed to triggering a reaction.
1.1.1 Environmental Triggers
The environment may have certain triggers like pollen from different plants, fabric materials, dust and other irritants which can trigger a reaction.
1.1.2 Genetic Factors
Your genes can also be attributed to causing the disease. This means your parents or anyone in their families could be responsible for passing on the disease to the following generations.
1.1.3 Immune system
Your immune system could be hyper-responsive to even a small amount of irritant causing a full-blown allergic reaction.
1.1.4 Psychological factors
Rarely but surely psychosomatic factors like stress, and depression are known to flare up symptoms. Eczema of the hands, however, occurs at a later stage of the disease. Hand eczema nonetheless remains the most common cause of itching of the hands.
It presents as:
- Redness on the hands
- Presentation of vesicles
- Scaly skin
- Skin that is patchy and flaky
- Dry skin
Sometimes, in the later stages, it may also show some fissures.
- Wear gloves while handling items that can trigger an allergic reaction.
- Know your triggers in order to avoid them.
- Moisturize your hands with a cream suited for gentle and sensitive skin.
- Topical steroid creams are also usually prescribed.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals like detergents, shampoos, etc.
- Opt for practices like yoga and meditation in order to deal with stress
1.2. Contact Dermatitis or Allergic Reaction
Trying out a new detergent to do laundry, buying a new dress, or trying a new dish at a restaurant can suddenly be the cause of an itching reaction, which can be restricted to just your hands or be something more serious.
Within a few minutes of the allergen coming in contact with your hands, an allergic reaction occurs and intense itching of the hands can start. This is followed by redness of the palms and sometimes on the skin small blisters may also appear.
Contact dermatitis can also become chronic in cases where the allergen is handled by a person on a regular basis as a part of one’s occupation.
Ways to prevent it include:
- Understanding your triggers is of foremost importance.
- When an allergic reaction occurs, keeping your skin moisturized is essential.
When an allergic reaction causes itching on your palms and makes your skin red, medical attention becomes a must. A doctor usually recommends a patch test which helps you as well as your healthcare provider to understand what might be causing the reaction.
Following which appropriate course of action can be taken.
A known enemy is always better than an unknown one. Finding your trigger will always remain the primary way to combat contact dermatitis and thus itchy palms.
A chronic autoimmune inflammatory condition known to affect at least two to three percent of the population of the world is psoriasis. Today at least 8 million people suffer from psoriasis. This chronic skin condition causes the cells of the skin to multiply a staggering 10 times faster.
The cause of this chronic condition is not known yet. However, it is known to affect the members of the same family. It is also known to sometimes skip generations. A father may pass it on to his son, but the son’s child may be healthy.
Psoriasis is generally known to affect
When it affects the palms it is known as palmar/palmoplantar psoriasis. This is often an ignored symptom, as the intensity of itching is not as intense as in contact dermatitis.
Psoriasis is a condition for which a cure has unfortunately not been found. But the symptoms have to be managed with lifestyle modifications, and controlling things that aggravate symptoms. Maintaining a healthy diet and reducing stress have been shown to significantly improve symptoms and help the person lead a comfortable life.
What does it mean when your palms itch? Could diabetes be causing it? Diabetes is a condition that occurs due to the pancreas not producing enough Insulin, which is essential to maintain a sufficient amount of blood sugar. An impaired production of insulin causes blood sugar to rise to unhealthy levels. This raised blood sugar makes a person more prone to catching infections.
Tinea manuum is a fungal infection which affects the hands. It is caused by one of the fungal spores responsible for causing ringworm. The palms become itchy and scaly skin is observed.
A healthy diet along with prescription medications is the key to taking your life back from diabetes and preventing the ugly infections associated with it from occurring.
Antifungal creams can help take care of Tinea manuum.
1.5. Affected Liver
What does it mean when your palms itch? Could it be a possible indication of liver disease? Itching of palms is seen as a symptom of disease affecting the liver. The reason for such a presentation is, however, unknown.
Chronic hepatitis C or in cases of jaundice itching throughout the body is experienced. Itchy palms are also noticed. Although, itchy palms cannot be considered as a primary symptom.
Nonetheless, the health of the liver should be taken care of and any change in regular health must be immediately brought to a doctor’s attention.
1.6. Other Miscellaneous Reasons for Itchy Palms
- Changes in weather
- Excessively dry skin and hands
- Nerve disorders like Carpal Tunnel syndrome
- Side effects of certain medications like histamines, some prescription medications taken for hypertension, and such.
2. When To Seek Medical Attention?
Whether your left palm is itching or your right, before money comes into your life, health shouldn’t leave. Any change in the normal pattern and increase in itching of palms which does not subside within 2 weeks time, causes palms to become red or if a rash develops which is flaky and is increasing in size must be immediately brought to the notice of a dermatologist.
3. What Should You Do on A Daily Basis?
A lot of times life throws lemons at us and unable to make a lemonade, we are oftentimes bogged down by stress. Stress plays a major role in causing certain diseases for which it is difficult to hold it culprit for. In today’s day and age, it is extremely important to manage our stress and try to live a balanced life.
Using a gentle moisturizer to keep your hands moist is important.
If any known allergies exist, care must be taken to avoid the triggers and if they are unknown, help from a doctor must be sought.
In conclusion, take charge of your life, pay close attention, and do not brush off any small changes in your health. Never leave anything to superstition.
4. Frequently Asked Questions
4.1 Why Do I Have Itchy Palms?
Answer: Itchy palms can occur because of several reasons, which originate from the skin or can be caused by dysfunction of certain internal organs.
4.2 Are Itchy Palms Associated with Any Superstition?
Answer: According to an old wives’ tale, if the left palm is itching you will get money from somewhere, and if the right palm is itching, you might lose some money. However, itching in the palms must be taken seriously and not neglected.
4.3 When Should I Seek Medical Attention?
Answer: If the palms have been itching for more than 2 weeks without any improvement, redness on the palms is increasing, and the itching is also spreading to other sites as well, these are certain signs that indicate the need for medical attention.
4.4 Are Steroids Prescribed for Treating Eczema?
Answer: Yes, when eczema occurs, certain steroid creams are prescribed to take care of the inflammation of the skin. Prescription drugs can also include oral steroids.