What Causes Itchy Fingers and How to Treat Them?
Itchy fingers may not sound like a severe symptom, but they can significantly affect your quality of life. This annoying symptom may develop alone or accompanied by a rash or hives. There are several potential causes of itchy fingers. It is important to identify the cause, in order to treat the symptom correctly.
The itchiness may spread on the surface of your fingers or under the skin or only affect some fingers. Itchy fingers are not likely to indicate a serious underlying condition, but you are better off consulting with your doctor, to avoid the risks.
Below, you will find some useful information about itchy fingers, including the causes, symptoms, and treatment.
What Causes Itchy Fingers?
Itchiness in the fingers may be a symptom of various health conditions, including skin allergies, psoriasis, and others.
Itchy Fingers and Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is type of allergy that causes an allergic reaction on the skin after direct contact with an irritant. It is also often referred to as contact eczema.
People affected by contact dermatitis can develop itchy fingers and hands, redness and inflammation, pain or swelling of the affected area of the skin, patches of dry skin, as well as small, red, itchy bumps.
Our hands and fingers are more likely to be affected, because we touch many different things with our hands during the day. For the same reason, it may be difficult to determine the cause of a reaction.
In most cases, contact dermatitis is trigger by certain fragrances, hand creams, hair dyes or deodorants containing cobalt, household disinfectants, as well as metal jewelry, watches, or belts.
If you experience contact dermatitis symptoms regularly, you may want to keep a special diary, where you record the allergens you are exposed to and the symptoms you have. This will help to identify some patterns.
In order to prevent contact dermatitis, you have to determine the trigger and avoid exposure to the allergen.
If you want to relieve your symptoms, you can use oral antihistamines or topical allergy treatments, such as antihistamine cream, or corticosteroid cream. Antihistamine creams can be obtained over the counter, but you may need a prescription for stronger formulas. Corticosteroid creams are usually available with prescription.
You can also try phototherapy, which involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light.
Itchy Fingers and Dyshidrotic Eczema
Dyshidrotic eczema is a skin rash also known as foot-and-hand eczema or pompholyx. The rash can be described as tiny, itchy blisters filled with fluid, which usually affect the hands, fingers, as well as toes and feet. Other symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema may include: severe itchiness, redness and inflammation, dry, flaky or cracked skin, and pain.
Dyshidrotic eczema can be a result of stress, skin irritation, and seasonal allergies.
If you have an allergy, you are more prone to developing this condition. Besides, women are at a two times higher risk for dyshidrotic eczema, than men.
In order to control the condition, experts recommend maintaining your skin well moisturized and using mild, gentle soaps and detergents. You can reduce the symptoms like itchiness and swelling by putting a cold compress on the affected area of the skin
Itchy Fingers and Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a noncontagious skin disease that speeds up the development of skin cells. Patches of flaky, scaly, itchy skin is a common sign of this condition.
Other common symptoms of psoriasis include: redness, severe dryness, silvery scales and painful inflamed patches of skin, as well as cracked and even bleeding skin.
If you have psoriasis, the symptoms may affect you joints, singers, nails, and other areas of your body.
It may be hard to find an effective treatment for a condition like psoriasis. You can try various options, including oral prescription medicines, corticosteroid creams, salicylic acid creams, creams with vitamin D analogs, as well as phototherapy.
Itchy Fingers and Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
High blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can cause nerve damage leading to peripheral neuropathy.
The symptoms may affect the hand and feet. People with diabetic peripheral neuropathy may experience increased sensitivity or numbness of the fingers, as well as pain and weakness.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. However, you can still relieve the symptoms using certain treatments.
In order to keep peripheral neuropathy under control, you may need to change your lifestyle, exercise regularly, stop smoking, and control your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. You can also try medications like antidepressants and anticonvulsants, or creams based on capsaicin.
Itchy Fingers and Scabies
Scabies is an extremely contagious skin infestation caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin and lay their eggs. The symptoms include small, itchy blisters or pus-filled bumps, tiny burrow-marks left by the mites, thick and scaly skin, itchy skin that gets even worse after showering or at nighttime. It may take up to 8 weeks after a contact with the scabies mite until the symptoms appear.
Skin folds, areas between the fingers and toes, inner elbows and knees, and genitals are the areas where the mites are more likely to burrow.
Scabies is a common skin condition – one of the most common ones in the developing countries. The disease usually spreads through skin-to-skin contact, but it’s also possible through sharing clothes, towels or bedding.
If you notice the symptoms, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will prescribe scabicide treatment killing the mites and the eggs in the skin. You may need to perform various rounds of treatment, since scabies may be hard to get rid of.
How to Reduce Itchiness of the Fingers?
If you are suffering from itchy fingers, you can relieve the symptoms at home. However, if you don’t know the cause, it’s better to consult your doctor. Based on the diagnosis, the doctor will recommend a proper treatment.
In some cases, there may be no need to use medication. Itchiness in your fingers can improve, if you make some adjustments to your daily routine.
Moisturizing your hands often with an allergen-free skin cream, lotion, or ointment can help to treat and prevent itchy fingers. It is important to wash the hands regularly using a mild soap and dry them completely after washing.
You can also relieve itching by soaking fingers in cool water. When the weather is cold and dry, remember to wear gloves.
You should also wear gloves when contacting with harsh chemicals, including household cleaning products. Make sure to avoid harsh skin care products that may potentially irritate the skin.
Calamine lotion may be soothing of itchy skin lesions, according to some people.
However, if your symptoms are severe, you may need to use a corticosteroid, antifungal, or antimicrobial cream.
In case your symptoms don’t improve after using home remedies and topical medication, you should visit your doctor. The doctor may prescribe you an oral medicine, which may include antibiotics, antifungals, immune suppressants, corticosteroids, or modulators.
The Bottom Line
Itchy fingers and itchiness in general can be very annoying. If you don’t have any additional symptoms, you may just need to moisturize your hands and fingers well to reduce and prevent the itchiness.
If the symptoms persist or return, you will likely have to consult your doctor and get a proper diagnosis.