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What Are the Causes of Itchy Skin on Hands?

What Are the Causes of Itchy Skin on Hands? What Are the Causes of Itchy Skin on Hands?

Many people experience itchy hands at some point, the American Academy of Dermatology says. This common problem may be caused either by an ongoing skin condition or a temporary issue such an allergic reaction. Dealing with itchy hands can interfere with doing many everyday tasks, so it’s important to discover what’s causing the itching to be able to treat it effectively.

Eczema

This skin condition, which can cause intense itching, often shows up on people’s hands. Physical trauma, such as handling large amounts of paper or digging into soil while gardening, can either cause hand eczema or make it worse, the American Academy of Dermatology says. Chemical trauma, such as too much exposure to soap containing irritating chemicals, can also cause eczema. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests taking these precautions to reduce the risk of developing hand eczema: wearing gloves to protect hands against harsh chemicals and to prevent dry, chapped skin when outdoors in cool weather; using lukewarm water and mild soap when washing hands; using an automatic dishwasher rather than washing dishes by hand; and applying healthy moisturizers to hands throughout the day.

Psoriasis

This disease makes the skin become thick, red, and scaly, causing itching. Psoriasis occurs when the body’s white blood cells and immune system malfunction thereby accelerating the growth of skin cells, which leads to a buildup of dead skin cells on the skin's surface. Psoriasis can occur on the hands or anywhere else on the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, factors that may trigger psoriasis include stress, cold weather, infections such as thrush or strep throat, skin injury such as a sunburn or cut, heavy alcohol consumption, smoking, and certain medications such as beta blockers used to treat high blood pressure and iodides.

Contact Dermatitis

When people’s hands come into contact with substances they’re allergic to, the skin on their hands may start to itch as part of the body’s reaction to the allergen. Similarly, when people touch their hands to substances that can irritate their skin, that can also cause hand itching. Some allergens and irritants that commonly cause hand itching, according to the Mayo Clinic, include cosmetics, soaps, deodorant, household cleaning products, skin cleaning products, chemicals such as formaldehyde, clothes, shoes, jewelry, latex, rubber, metals such as nickel, fragrances, plants such as poison ivy, and medicinal lotions such as antibiotics. It only takes brief exposure to an allergen to cause hand itching, but substances that merely irritate the skin usually lead to hand itching only after prolonged exposure, the Mayo Clinic says.

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