Itchy Hand

Hands | Dermatology | Itchy Hand (Symptom)


A hand itch is a sensation that causes a desire to scratch the skin of the hand. Severely itchy palms and soles can present with or without any evident skin rashes. The most common of these is being eczema.


Most of the causes of itchy palms and soles are similar to that of hand eczema and can be broadly divided into exogenous and endogenous. Many of the causes for itchy palms and soles are from outside sources:

(1) Contact Dermatitis. Hand eczema and foot dermatitis caused by irritants like cosmetics, soap and detergents and allergens like nickel and rubber can cause severe itchy palms and soles. Housewives’ getting severe itching of hands following handling of items like garlic and some vegetables is a common occurrence. Sudden itching of the palms and soles can occur following ingested food (seafood) or medications like penicillins, sulfa drugs etc. Solvents, paints and fiber glass exposure are also important causes for itchy palms and soles triggered by contact dermatitis.

(2) Infections. A secondary infection of a wound on the hands and feet can cause dermatitis if not treated promptly. The bacterial proteins act as antigens to produce inflammatory skin changes resulting in itchy hands and feet.

(3) Secondary dissemination. A secondary eruption or pompholyx caused by a fungal or bacterial infection in a remote site can cause tense, itchy or painful eruptions on the palms and soles.


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