Palms and feet itching every now and then can be quite frustrating, as it can significantly distract our concentration while performing day-to-day activities. Chronic itching is indeed annoying, and one has to scratch the skin several times to get relief from itchiness. However, one must be aware of the fact that frequent scratching can damage the skin considerably. Also, it is observed that people experiencing consistent itching on the palms and feet at night are sometimes unable to sleep properly. It drives them crazy, that in turn leads to disturbances in sleep. No wonder, sleep deprivation is the most common complaint of people with itchy skin.
Dry skin can also trigger severe itching in the palms and feet. In many instances, skin disorders are the main culprits behind itchy skin. For instance, parasitic skin infections such as scabies and ringworm can also cause itching in the palms and the soles. The ringworm infection is marked by formation of red, scaly patches whereas scabies caused by burrowing mites brings reddish rash on the affected skin. The most common causes of itching that is more severe on the palms and feet are given below:
Hand Eczema: Eczema that is restricted to the hands is known as dyshidrotic eczema. Eczema is a skin condition in which the epidermis (outermost layer of the skin) is inflamed and develops an itchy skin. This is a skin disorder that is characterized by formation of blisters that causes severe itching along the fingers and the palm.
Psoriasis: Psoriasis is a skin disorder that make the skin itchy and scaly. In some cases, sore patches of red skin are clearly visible on the palm and feet. Psoriasis can occur due to a skin infection or as a side effect of certain medications.
Pitted Keratolysis: This is a non inflammatory skin disease that is typically marked by formation of tiny depressions referred to as pits on the outer layer of the skin. Caused by the bacteria, pitted keratolysis generally occurs on the foot soles and the palm. Excessive sweating is considered to be the main cause behind the occurrence of pitted keratolysis. Wearing tight shoes for a considerably period of time triggers profuse sweating. This may negatively affect the skin and lead to pitted keratolysis.
Medications: People taking pharmaceutical drugs to treat a particular medical condition also experience itchy palms and feet. In such cases, this unusual itchiness is generally a side effect of prescription medicines. In case, the person is allergic to the medicine, side effects such as skin rash or hives are bound to occur. In other words, an allergic reaction of a prescription drug can make the palms itchy.
Medical Conditions: Persistent itchiness confined to a specific part of the body, is a manifestation of inner turmoil such as chronic kidney failure or liver diseases. For instance, inflammation or scarring of the liver associated with fatty liver can make the whole body itchy but may initially begin from the palms and the soles.
The itchy sensation is sometimes unbearable, yet the skin may not show any rash. Itching palms have also been reported in patients suffering from thyroid disorders like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Both underactive or overactive thyroid gland makes the skin dry, which eventually leads to persistent itchiness. No wonder, thyroid patients are often heard whining about itchy red palms.
Other Causes: Itching palms and soles is also considered to be one of the symptoms of Crohn's disease. In this condition, a portion of small and large intestine gets swollen. Abdominal pain, diarrhea and blood in stool have also been associated in patients diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Dreaded diseases like cancer of the blood and the lymph tissues in the initial stages show symptoms in the form of itching palm. Diet lacking in essential vitamins like B1, B6 and B12 can also be responsible for causing itchy feeling in the hands and feet.
Stress: A new research suggests that stress can also negatively affect the skin. Prolonged exposure to stress can cause anxiety, resulting in chronic itchy skin that may specifically target the palms and the feet. High stress levels could actually aggravate existing itchy skin problem.
Determining the underlying cause is the key to get rid of this skin problem. Therefore, one must consult a well qualified dermatologist, if the itchy palms and soles problem persists for a week. The doctor may prescribe anti-itching creams and moisturizing creams to get relief from itchy palms and feet. Keeping hands in cold water is another solution to reduce itching. When it comes to managing stress, an easy option would be to practice meditation and yoga techniques. These dermatological conditions will be significantly brought under control, by following a healthy lifestyle.