Itchy arms and hands
Got itchy arms and hands? Here are some skin conditions associated with itchy arms and hands with their corresponding causes and treatments.
Itchy arms and hands causes:
Keratosis Pilaris, or chicken skin, is a genetic skin condition characterized by small bumps in the back and upper and outer side of arms. It is caused by the accumulation of dead skin cells in the hair follicles instead of falling off; hence, the skin bumps. The bumps also become more visible during cold weather.
Brachioradial pruritus, or the itchy upper arm syndrome, is an intense skin itch found on the back and outer parts of the arms. Though its exact cause remains to be discerned, nerve damage in the area of the skin exposed to the sun is evident.
Pompholyx is a common type of skin inflammation with blisters in the hands and feet. Though its exact cause is not yet known, it is often associated with sweaty palms. Not to worry though because it is not contagious.
Hand dermatitis, or hand eczema, can be caused by injury, prolonged exposure to certain substances which trigger allergic reaction, or it can also be genetic. It usually affects the back of the hands, palms or both. The affected parts become dry and red.
Palmoplantar keratodama is caused by the thickening of the skin in the palms and soles. It may or may not be itchy. Though this condition may be hereditary, it is also associated with psoriasis, medications, eczema, infections, toxins, internal diseases, or circulation disorder.
Finally, chilblains is a cold injury caused by extreme cold and humidity. Its symptoms include itchiness, pain, and reddish/purplish swelling of the fingers that can last for days, as well as the inflammation of earlobes and toes.
Itchy arms and hands diagnosis
For accurate and comprehensive diagnosis, it is always best to consult your family doctor or dermatologist.
In the case of Brachioradial Pruritis, a biopsy can be done wherein a small patch of skin is examined under a microscope to see damage in the skin.
For hand dermatitis, a patch skin test is employed to test the patients’ sensitivity to irritants.
Itchy arms and hands treatment
For Keratosis Pilaris, it is advisable to avoid using soaps and use moisturizing creams with salicylic or lactic acid after bath. Rubbing your skin with pumice stone while taking a bath will also help. Laser hair removal, acne removal, and chemical peel are also options for treatment.
For Brachioradial pruritus, wear long-sleeved shirts, avoid the sun from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M., use sun blocks, and avoid scratching. You can also apply ice cubes or wet clothes, topical capsaicin, and other topical creams like Gabapentin, Fluocinonide and Purdoxin. Chiropractor and acupuncture can also be of help.
For Pompholyx, applying Aluminim acetate for 15 minutes every day, four times a day can help. So does the application of moisturizing creams, antibiotics, Domeboro (OTC) and emollients. A proper diet and vitamin supplements is advisable. You can also put your hand in water with salt for 30 minutes.
For hand dermatitis, avoid contact with irritants and use vinyl gloves. Oral antihistamines and corticosteroids can also be of help.
Palmoplantar keratodama can be treated through application of topical vitamin D treatment and moisturizing creams and ointments with salicylic acid or retinoids.
Finally, keeping yourself warm can be of help in chilblains. Diltiazem or Nifedipine can provide temporary relief, and so do corticosteroid and heparin ointment.
Filed Under: Skin, Hair and Nails