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Sever itching hands

For the last two weeks my hands (the palms and between my fingers)will begin to itch periodically without warning. When I scrath them it only gets worse, the itching is intensified and they begin to burn. I have tried multiple things to relieve it but to no avail. It starts and stops continully through out the day and there is no one indicator of what might be causing it. I am worried that it might be my liver or gallbladder due to stones in my gallbladder. Or could it be decreased tissue perfussion to my hands? I know just enough to get into trouble and am concered about this due to the fact that I have tried everything and it does not seem to go away. I changed my soaps, lotions, and detergents. I have tried Benadryl and creams applied to the skin, they do not phase the itching. Please help.

Thank you
240 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi there did you get any answers to your problem?  I have exactly the same things and its driving me nuts!
Avatar universal
Me too.  I just increased my Lexapro dose from 15mg to 20mg, but can find no correlation between the two.  The more I scratch my hands the more they itch.  I wondering if peri-menopause is a factor?  When my hands are engaged in activity they are fine, but when I stop--the itching is intense.  Yesterday I kept holding ice cubes to calm them down.  What the heck is this?
Avatar universal
My hands itch so bad scratching with my nails and interlocking my finger of both hands and rubbing causes a relief while doing this that reaches a level of cessation. Then 5 minutes later it returns with more intensity. This continues for close to an hour sometimes. By this time my hands are burnng hot and swollen to more than twice their size lasting into the next day. Very hot water helps. You'll know how hot. Then a freezer bag filled with ice. Thats all I can help with. I'm still searching the web.
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Avatar universal
It is 2 a.m. and I am sitting here with such intense itching it is about to drive me nuts.  I actually have had this problem before, but at that time I also suffered with itching on the soles of my feet.  I consulted a naturpath who conducted a hair analysis that determined that I was copper toxic.  My body did not have enough copper, so it was holding on to every bit it could.  When he put me on supplements, copper being one of them all the itching stopped, almost immediatley. This was about 20 years ago, when I was pregnant with my daughter.  This has recently  come back, so maybe I am suffering from the same ailment.  
Avatar universal
I am also suffering from the same problem. It started out of the blue a couple of day ago. Why is this happening and what how can this be treated??????
Avatar universal
I am having the same problem.  My itching started about 3 weeks ago and has not gone away.  It is amazing to see that others have the same condition.  The itching will drive you crazy.  Just like you all the itching comes and goes with out cause. I plan to go to the doctor next week but just wanted to know if anyone has found a treatment or a cause?  Thanks for your help.....
Avatar universal
I am having the same problem as mentioned above and my hands get red and hot (maybe it's from all the itching). If anyone knows what this problem is, please e-mail me! ***@****. Thanks!
Avatar universal
I am having the same problem for the last month.  I can't stand the itching & the pain. I've done med searches, to see if any of the meds I'm on can cause this, and no luck.  The more I think about it the more they itch.  I've checked online to see if this is the cause of some underlying disease, i.e. kidney disease, but, again no luck!!  I need help!!!!!  thanks...:)
Avatar universal
I too have just started having this problem, mine starts early evening and drives me crazy until i cant stay awake any more, during the day it doesn't itch nearly half as much. After the birth of my second son i suffered with severe itching but this was all over and turned out to be an over active Thyroid gland pireton tablets where the only thing that helped until i saw a consultant.
However this is quite different, and compared to some other peoples conditions i feel i would be wasting a GP's time with this, if i don't go though i think I'll go mad.
Has anyone managed to tie this down to something??
Avatar universal
I still have no cure after 3 years! I thought it was stress at the start, no i think that it is the change in weather and temperature. I itch and itch and my fingers get fat and sore and even start to leak with a clear fluid. its gross and very embarrssing. Doctor said not to use E45 and Aquius Cream because it will feed it. I once used a Oilitum Plus liquid that you add to water to moisten them up (as they crack when over dry).Doc has also given me some Double Base cream that will act as a barrier for when I wash up and shower. I need a cure very badly for the itching - I seem to wake up in the morning vigurously scratching my inflamed hands. I hope this doesnt happen on my wedding day - the ring wont fit!!!!!!!!!!!noooooooooo! Help If you have the same problem, I DO ALREADY PUT ICE CUBES IN A TEA TOWEL AND HOLD THAT FOR A WHILE, BUT CANT ALWAYS DO THAT IF IM OUT!
Help me x
Avatar universal
I have itching palms every morning.  It can last up to ten minutes and then goes away.  It is very frustrating when it is there and is followed by tingling sensation on the itched area and heat. I was wondering if it was circulation.  No one has posted a cause for this yet and I would love to get to the bottom of it.  It has happened every time I get up out of bed for the last three weeks.
Avatar universal
I have a 2 year old who is starting to experience severe itching on his hands but it only occurs when he wakes up from a nap and it wakes him up at night EVERY night! The doctors had me change his allergie medecine & said to stay away from dyes, and to use Dove for sensitive skin.  I have at this point become frustrated with the doctor and decided to stop all that & just use Aveeno Skin Relif moisturizing lotion with cooling menthol.  It seems to do the trick for him with almost instant relief, but I still have no answer as to what is causing it. If anyone has any clue on what this is please let me know!!!
Avatar universal
I had the same problem and went to an allergist.  He did the normal allergy tests with no real conclusion, but he did notice that I had a condition called dermatagraphism. He prescribed fexofenadine an antihistamine.  It relieved my itching problem.  I am now taking Zyrtec with the same result. Go see your doctor - you may have the same condition.  
Avatar universal
I have the same problem with burning itching hands and believe it is related to antibacterial products. It begins in grocery stores with intensity, and the irritant is either on the cart handles or on the produce. It is activated by water, because when I go to the ladies room to wash it worsens, and my hands feel like they are on fire. It may be something they spray the vegetables with or on the plastic bags. I am wearing gloves now and cracked bleeding fingers are gone from last yr .
Avatar universal
Ok, after reading all of these posts I am realizing that I am not going crazy.  Yesterday afternoon while in the dentist office with my son my hand started itching.   First in one spot on one finger and then on to two more fingers and then the whole side of my hand.  It only got worse as the night went on.  I woke up scratching my hand all night and in the morning my hand was burning and swollen. I have never experienced this in my life.  Its still itching pretty bad now and only gets worse with more scratching.  I was reading all of these posts and was wondering if anyone has any natural remedies for this?  Please let me know.
Avatar universal
the best cure for  itchy fingers is to stay off the whiizz for a while. do a bit of charlie and yam a few pills
Avatar universal
I just got back from the dr because after 3 weeks I couldn't stand the itching any more.  Sometimes it woke me up or kept me awake all night or it would start in the daytime and even touching my mouse at work felt like my palm was on fire.  I have high blood pressure which was under control with HCTZ and forgot to get it refilled.  When I went to went pick up my other medication the pharmacist reminded me and I started it back up again.  A few days later the itching started.  Now my Dr is taking me off the HCTZ and putting me on prescription strength Zantac.  I have acid reflux and the Zantac also acts as an antihistamine, so I'm willing to try anything at this point.  He said I should know in about 2 days - long enough to get the HCTZ out of system and to get the Zantac working.  I'll let you know what happens.
Avatar universal
The itching is almost gone.  It comes back in short bursts about 9 hours after I've taken the Zantac which serves to remind me to take another one.
Avatar universal
I just started this problem that everyone has described.  Mine started this past Sunday in the early afternoon.  This severe burning & itching sensation started without notice on the palms of my hands and my feet.  At first, I started to itch but found quickly that this only intensifies the situation.  I did find relief by wrapping my hands and feet in cold wet towels.  I couldn't figure it out.  This went on the for the remainder of the aafternoon and evening.  At 2am, I was watching a movie, trying to go to sleep when an intense pain shot through the center of my chest and into my back.  It took my breath away!  The pain was so intense and I couldn't breathe.  I started to get cold sweats and that was followed by nausia.  The pain traveled to my right shoulder and into the right side of my neck, followed by clouded vision.  After about 15 minutes, the pain started to subside but came back.  I was taken to the ER and was told that I had a heart attack.  
Now, I am only 30 but there is a reason for these symptoms.  
1. There is a rare blood disorder named Polycythemia vera.  This is the over-production of blood cells in the body that causes the blood to thicken and clot, and can lead to heart attacks & strokes.  From this there is a disorder named Erythromelalgia.  Erythromelalgia is broken down like this: erythros (redness), melos (extremity), and algia (pain).  

Erythromelalgia is a condition characterized by episodes of pain, redness, and swelling in various parts of the body, particularly the hands and feet. These episodes are usually triggered by increased body temperature, which may be caused by exercise, wearing socks or tight shoes, or entering a warm room. Ingesting alcohol or spicy foods may also trigger an episode. As affected individuals get older and the disease progresses, the hands and feet may be constantly red, and the affected areas can extend to the upper legs and face.  Although erythromelalgia typically affects both sides of the body, it may sometimes involve only one side. In addition, the disease course may be extremely variable from case to case. For example, in some individuals, symptom onset may be gradual, with the condition potentially remaining relatively mild for years. However, in others, it may have a sudden onset, possibly spreading and becoming severe over weeks.

Erythromelagia can be a secondary cause to a bigger problem.  My doctors are now testing for both Hypercholesterolemia & Polycythemia vera.  
For anyone who is seeking information about treatment, the best thing to do is talk to your doctor about Erythromelalgia.  I have learned that it is believed to be genetic.   There is treatement for Erythromelalgia but you need to find out what the main cause for this disorder is.  This may speed up your resolution in finding both the cause and relief.  I hope this has been helpful. :)
Avatar universal
My husband had this really severe itching palm thing (without rash) so bad it was keeping him up all night and he couldnt do anything during the day but scratch. We searched the internet (found this site) but no one had any answers that really fit us. He was using anything (and everyting) to scratch it - which just made it worse and put him at risk for cellulitis. We tried everything including what the dermatologist gave him - a steroid cream, zyrtec and charitin which helped a little bit.
But what really helped was putting KINOKI FOOT DETOX PADS!!! ON HIS PALM ON THE MOST SEVERELY ITCHING AREA AT NIGHT! He did on pad on a palm each night for several nights and it totally helped. We hope this helps someone else.
Avatar universal
Even I have same problem. During afternoon my hands become red and i go on rubbing the palms. please help, i am feeling so sick of it.
Avatar universal
I also have the same symptoms. i wake up and my hands itch so bad that i can't stop scratching. i scratch and rub for relief until they are red and really swelled also there are parts of my hands that have white spots as if the blood is not flowing through, this led me to think i might have a circulation problem. i've tried lotions, washing with cold and hot water, and you name it. baby powder gave a little relief but i dont understand why it happens. im reluctant to go to a doctor because i think i will just get the basic diagnoses such as dry skin and i really feel it has to be something more. help its drivin me crazy and is a lil scary!
1134679 tn?1260566598
Look up one of two possibilities....

- Dyshydrosis
- Latex allergy

It sounds more akin to dyshydrosis to me.  It turns into eczema as you continually scratch.

The nerve ending become inflamed due to the sweat that is trapped between the layers of tissue.  As the sweat is reabsorbed it leaves little pockets of dry skin that open and fissure.

Sweating under gloves, or just having a sweating problem with your skin (feet also fit in here) can culminate in dyshydrosis because the sweat ducts are tiny.

It turns into an itch/scratch cycle... the more it itches, the more you scratch, the more you scratch the more inflamed they are and the more you sweat....

Try using hydrocortisone cream instead of itching, or best, get cortisone cream from your dermatologist.  Keep your hands supple, don't let them dry out or it increases the issue.  

Use a non-oil based hand cream, or have your pharmacy mix cortisone with either Aquafor or some other cream (part-to-part) and use it regularly.

In the interim, when you use the cortisone or hydrocortison cream, gently occlude it with saran strips and the heat will increase the strength of the creams.

After applying the cortisone cream you might try sleeping with white, thin gloves so that the cream isn't getting rubbed off.
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