A number of things, including changes in climate, excessively washing your hands and exposure to perfumed soaps or cleaning products, can cause dry skin on your palms.
The treatment for itchy hands caused by dry skin is simple. Try moisturising your hands with a plain moisturiser several times a day, especially after washing. If you are washing your hands more regularly at the moment, it’s even more important to keep them moisturised and repair the skin barrier.
Sometimes, itchy palms can be the result of repeated exposure to an irritant, which in turn causes an allergic reaction. This is contact dermatitis and can occur anywhere on the hands. While this reaction is not life-threatening, it can be very uncomfortable.
The best way to treat itchy palms caused by an allergic reaction, is to identify the trigger, which could be anything from washing up liquid to a piece of jewellery, and remove this trigger. Following this, moisturise the affected area several times a day until the skin is healed.
If symptoms persist, seek advice from your local pharmacist or GP.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema in adults and among other areas on the body, often appears on the hands.
Unlike dry skin, which can make hands itch but is often minimal, eczema on the hands can flare up and cause the skin to feel very itchy and even sore. This can leave individuals with a compulsive need to continually scratch their itchy hands and palms which can in turn worsen the symptoms.
Ways to manage itchy eczema include:
- Regularly applying an emollient to hydrate the skin
- Applying a cool, wet compress
- Avoiding potential triggers such as perfumed soaps or cleaning products
If itchy skin is affecting your day-to-day life be sure to visit your GP and they can advise on further tests and treatment.
It’s also important to note that if you are prone to getting eczema on your hands, regularly applying an emollient will help form a protective barrier on the skin and help prevent future flare-ups.