The Causes of Itchy Palms

Itchy palms is a symptom that can be due to many different factors. Some are ordinary, while others require medical attention. Discover them in this article.
The Causes of Itchy Palms

Last update: 15 September, 2021

Many people suffer from itchy palms. This can be a very bothersome symptom that can spread to the fingers. It has many causes, from minor dryness to conditions that require medical treatment.

In this article, we’ll tell you all about the most common causes of itchy palms and some tricks that can help relieve this symptom. Nevertheless, you need to remember that it’s essential for you to consult your doctor if you have any questions.

The most common cause of itchy palms

As we commented above, the causes of this symptom can vary greatly. Fortunately, the most common, dry skin, isn’t serious.

When your skin is dry or lacks hydration, it becomes irritated and loses its protective barrier. As a result, cracks appear and the bothersome sensation of itching in the palms of the hands becomes evident.

You must remember that the hands are one of the most exposed body parts, as they come into contact with everything that surrounds you. That’s why they’re the most vulnerable body parts to irritation or allergic reactions.

Other causes of itchy palms

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is the result of direct contact with a substance or object that irritates the skin. It makes the skin become red, itchy, or even painful and inflamed.

Some of the most common substances that cause this dermatitis are dyes, some cleaning chemicals such as detergents, or cement. These substances are usually equally irritating to everyone.

A person with contact dermatitis.
Although contact dermatitis affects any body part, the hands are more vulnerable.

Allergic dermatitis

It causes the same symptoms as contact dermatitis. The difference is that, in this case, the substance that causes dermatitis isn’t the irritant, but instead something specific a person is allergic to.

For example, a person may be allergic to latex, some types of plants, or cosmetic products such as nail polish.

Dyshidrotic eczema

Experts don’t know the exact cause of dyshidrotic eczema. It manifests with fluid-filled blisters on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, as well as peeling and a burning and itching sensation.

It’s more common during the spring and autumn or during times of stress. As experts are unaware of the exact cause, no measures can be taken to prevent it from happening. Dyshidrotic eczema tends to manifest in flare ups several times throughout the patient’s life.


The gaps between the fingers of the hands is where heat and humidity build up. These are the perfect conditions for fungi to grow. They also cause irritation and flaking, as well as itching in the palms of the hands.

Pustular psoriasis

This is a type of psoriasis that affects the palms of the hands and feet. Its exact cause isn’t known. However, experts believe that, like dyshidrotic eczema, it’s related to stress or autoimmune phenomena.

It causes non-infectious pus-filled papules to appear. They’re very bothersome and cause pain and itching. Treatment is similar to the one prescribed for general psoriasis.

A man with dry, cracked hands.
Itching may not only affect the palms of the hands but also the back.

How to treat itchy palms

As so many factors can cause itchy palms, there are various different ways to treat and prevent this symptom. For example, corticosteroid ointments may be helpful for allergy-related conditions or those that cause inflammation.

Avoiding stressful situations is essential for psoriasis or dyshidrotic eczema. In cases of allergy or contact dermatitis, it’s essential to avoid manipulating the substances that cause it.

In addition to these specific measures, it’s also important to practice good hand hygiene and to try to keep them hydrated, but not excessively.

When to consult a doctor if you have itchy palms

As we mentioned above, many factors can trigger this bothersome symptom that can be hard to relieve. If the itch manifests with lesions such as blisters and swelling, you must go see a specialist, as they’ll be able to diagnose you and prescribe the proper treatment.

It’s also important to take care of your hands, as they’re one of the most exposed body parts. Remember that they allow you to make contact with the world and other people around you.

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