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Itchy hands: itching in the palm and back of the hand

  1. Itchy hands or itching on the palm or back of the hand is a very unpleasant complaint. Itching on the hands can be quite irritating, especially if the itching does not stop. Itching, irritation or burning of the hands (palm and / or back of the hand) can have a relatively harmless cause. An itchy hand is rarely a sign of a more serious problem. That in itself is good news. The bad news, however, is that itchy hands can be a sign of a chronic skin condition that needs frequent treatment. You can experience itchy hands in the evening, at night and during the day and the intensity can vary from mild to severe. The itchiness may come and go or be present. Finding the cause of itchy hands is important in determining which treatment is appropriate. Most causes of itching on the palm and back of the hand (bottom and top of the hand) are treatable with self-care and prescription ointments and creams.

Itchy hands

  1. Itchy hands are very annoying. Often itchy hands or palms are a common symptom that has no obvious identifiable cause and disappears on its own within minutes to hours. The itching can be caused by, for example, dry skin as a result of weather conditions such as inclement and cold weather. There may also be a skin condition that makes you experience itching complaints and this is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as peeling of the skin, scabs or abnormal spots on the skin. Sometimes itchy palms are a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as liver disease.

Cause of palm and back itching

  1. Several factors can be responsible for itchy hands or itching on your palm or back of the hand

Dry skin

  1. Dry skin is often caused by external conditions. Winter weather, for example, allows the skin to dry out quickly. Dry skin can be irritating and cause itching. Dry hands is a common cause of itchy hands.


  1. Scabies is a highly contagious and itchy skin condition caused by the scabies mite Left untreated, these microscopic mites can live in your skin for months. They reproduce on the surface of your skin and then dig passageways in the skin to deposit eggs. This causes an itchy, red rash on the skin. With scabies on your hands, you develop itchy hands. Scabies often appear on the top of your hands, causing intense itching on the back of your hand.


  1. Persistent stress and tension can also cause itchy hands.

Itchy hands after shower

  1. Your skin comes into contact with water relatively often. Many people wash their hands quite often and shower daily. Not every skin is resistant to so much water, which causes the skin to dry out - especially in combination with soap. This is expressed by getting itching


  1. Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease with red patches and white scales. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system sees and attacks the body's own cells and substances as foreign. In addition to itching, psoriasis can cause the following symptoms:

Skin damage

  1. Certain chemicals or substances can irritate the sensitive skin on your hands. Scrubbing or brushing can also irritate your skin. This can cause dryness, flaking and itching.

Allergic reaction

  1. If you are allergic to anything that you touch, you may get itchy hands. The itching doesn't have to come on right away. It may take you several hours to experience this after coming into contact with the allergen. In addition to itchy hands, subcutaneous swelling may develop, as well as a rash.

Hand eczema

  1. Hand eczema is a common and often chronic, difficult to treat condition that can be itchy and interfere with the daily activities you perform. Eczema on the hand is characterized by redness, swelling and bumps and blisters. There are different forms of hand eczema, depending on the cause. It is more common in women, possibly because they are more often employed as cleaners and hairdressers, which means they are frequently exposed to irritating and drying substances.


  1. Although uncommon, diabetes can cause itchy palms. Diabetes can cause poor circulation, and poor circulation can lead to itchy skin. However, most people with diabetes-related itching experience it more in their legs than their hands.


  1. Erythromelalgia is a rare condition that mainly affects the feet and, less commonly, the hands and face. Attacks of a red discoloration of the skin occur in combination with annoying burning pain in and under the skin. It is triggered by heat, both when the core temperature (heat, exercise) and the local skin temperature are increased.


  1. Sometimes itchy palms (or itchy soles) can develop as a result of medication. When you have a mild allergic reaction to a new drug, the histamine reactions in the body can cause itching. The palms of the hands, in particular, can be itchy in these cases, because histamine mainly accumulates in the hands and feet.

Liver or kidney disease

  1. Itching symptoms can be caused by liver disease or kidney disease. If the kidneys or liver are not functioning properly, it can cause itching from within.

Additional symptoms

  1. Itchy palms are not always a symptom of an underlying problem. Sometimes you just suffer from itching without there being or appears to be a direct cause for it. However, it can also indicate a skin problem. Other symptoms can help you determine what's causing the itching. Symptoms that can accompany itchy hands include:

Examination and diagnosis

  1. In case of persistent itchy hands, it is wise to make an appointment with your doctor. Various skin tests can be performed to diagnose skin allergies, bacterial or fungal infections and other problems affecting the skin. Skin tests are also performed to determine the difference between malignant (cancerous) cells and benign growth.

Patch Test

  1. This can be used to help diagnose skin allergies. Certain allergens (substances to which a person may be allergic) are applied to the skin by means of patches and are left alone for a certain period of time. The skin is then examined for a response after a specified period of time.

Skin biopsy

  1. This is performed to diagnose skin cancer or benign skin disorders. During a skin biopsy, a piece of skin is removed (after a topical anesthetic has been applied) and taken to a lab for analysis.


  1. This is a test that is done to identify the microorganism (bacteria, fungus or virus) that is causing an infection. Skin (or the contents of pus and blisters), hair, or nails can be grown to detect bacteria, fungi, or viruses.

Treatment of itchy hands

  1. The treatment of itchy hands (itching on the palm and back of the hand) depends on the cause of the itching and any additional complaints. Timely diagnosis can sometimes prevent the symptoms from getting worse.


  1. Itchy hands or palms are rarely a chronic condition. In most cases, the itching will stop once the cause has been identified and treatment started. If the itching persists or is chronic, for example because you have psoriasis, certain treatment options can help reduce the symptoms. Once the cause has been identified, make sure you do everything you can to avoid additional risks that can increase the itchiness. Also make sure to take preventative measures that can prevent itching.


  1. Preventing itchy hands (palm and / or back of hand) can be done by taking the following measures:

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