Itchy Palms: Causes, Symptoms, Remedies, and Treatment

itchy palms, person scratching hand
Written and edited by: Author
Medically reviewed by: Medical Reviewer

I’ve heard countless skin-related myths and folklore throughout my career. One enduring belief that comes across my desk is the old saying regarding itchy palms — “left to leave, right to receive.” This saying signifies that if your left palm itches, you’re about to lose or give away money, but if your right palm itches, you’re about to come into money.

Intriguing as this superstition might be, in medical science, itchy palms signify a variety of potential issues — from skin conditions to systemic diseases — that should be addressed promptly.

In this post, I will discuss the real causes, symptoms, remedies, and treatments for itchy palms. I’ll also address the misinformation surrounding this common symptom, helping you to understand it from a dermatological perspective. Let’s begin.

Itchy Palms Infographic

Why Do Palms Itch?

In medical terminology, the sensation of itching is known as pruritus. The palms of our hands, just like any other part of our skin, can be subjected to this uncomfortable feeling. So, what could be causing it?

Your palms can itch for various reasons, such as dry skin, an allergy, or a skin condition like psoriasis. Rarely, it may be a sign of something more serious like diabetes. Itchy palms are certainly annoying. They can drive you mad when the irritating, burning itch doesn’t stop. – Kimberly Holland

Allergic Reactions

Allergens, which are foreign substances that your body views as potential threats, can trigger allergic reactions that manifest in various ways, ranging from redness to itchiness. Examples of allergens include latex, nickel found in jewelry, certain foods, as well as specific cosmetics and skincare products

Sometimes, itchy palms result from repeated exposure to an irritant or chemical that eventually results in an allergic reaction. – Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA


Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition that often causes the skin to become itchy, dry, and inflamed. Eczema is prevalent on the hands, and can, therefore, lead to itchy palms.

According to the National Eczema Association, symptoms of hand eczema, also known as hand dermatitis, include redness, blistering, cracking, flaking, and itching of the palms or fingers.


Psoriasis is another skin condition that can cause itchy palms. According to Kimberly Holland, this chronic disease leads to an overproduction of skin cells, causing a buildup that appears red, itchy, and scaly patches.

Other Health Issues

Surprisingly, other non-skin-related health conditions can cause itchy palms. These include diabetes, nerve disorders, and liver disease.


Itchiness is the primary symptom of this condition, but others like redness, rashes, hives, scaling, peeling, blisters, or sores can also occur, hinting at issues like eczema, psoriasis, allergic reactions, dermatitis, or scabies.

Context matters – for instance, new symptoms after using a hand cream might point to an allergic reaction. Early recognition aids in swift, effective treatment, promoting optimal skin health.


When it comes to itchy palms, there are several home remedies that can provide some degree of relief. Regular application of a hypoallergenic moisturizer can counteract dryness, which often exacerbates itchiness. Utilizing a cold pack can also prove helpful, as this can both alleviate itching and reduce inflammation.

Another excellent remedy for itchy skin is an oatmeal bath, thanks to oatmeal’s potent anti-inflammatory properties. Over-the-counter treatments, such as hydrocortisone creams or antihistamines, can also be beneficial, particularly in cases of mild eczema or allergic reactions. Employing these simple remedies can go a long way in mitigating discomfort and enhancing your skin health.

Appropriate application of a moisturizer not only improves the dryness, but also improves the skin’s natural barrier function to protect the skin from internal and external irritants to keep the skin healthy. – Seok-Young Kang

Treatment Approach

diagnosis and treatment from a dermatologist fir itchy palms

For persistent itchiness, it’s crucial to get a diagnosis and treatment from a dermatologist who can accurately identify the cause and suggest appropriate treatments. These can range from topical steroids for eczema or psoriasis, antihistamines for allergies, and phototherapy for psoriasis, to managing underlying conditions like diabetes or liver disease.

Treatment customization based on individual needs is key for effectively managing itchy palms.

Let’s Talk About Prevention

Prevention, they say, is better than cure, and that’s certainly true when it comes to itchy palms. Regular moisturizing, avoiding known allergens and irritants, and keeping hands clean and dry can all help prevent itchy palms.

Regular health check-ups can detect underlying systemic conditions that may present with itchy palms, such as liver disease or diabetes.

Wrapping Up

After exploring the various causes, symptoms, and potential remedies for itchy palms, it is clear that this common issue can stem from various of sources, ranging from minor irritations to more serious health conditions.

It’s evident that understanding the underlying cause is crucial for effective treatment. For me, maintaining good skin care and being mindful of allergic reactions has been key.

If symptoms persist, I wouldn’t hesitate to seek professional medical advice, as it could be indicative of a deeper health concern. Ultimately, itchy palms are a signal from our body that shouldn’t be ignored.

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