Itching on the arms

Itching is a common dermatological disorder, which can occur at any age, associated with many dermatological and non-dermatological causes. Itching on the arms can affect the whole arm or only a part of it: itching on the forearm, elbow, armpit or wrist. Itching on the arms can affect one or both arms.



Why does your arm itch?

The causes of itching on the arms are:

  • Dermatological: pruritic skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. These skin conditions are accompanied by characteristic lesions and it is precisely these lesions that cause itching on the arms.
  • Non-dermatological: pruritus sine materia is pruritus without any skin lesions to explain it. It includes many causes of pruritus, liver or kidney diseases, endocrine disorders, medications, pregnancy, advanced age, neurological or psychological disorders, etc.

In cases of itching on the wrist, the presence of skin lesions may indicate an allergy to the nickel contained in certain bracelets, atopic eczema or scabies.
In the cases of itching on the elbow, lesions in the crook of the elbow are often associated with eczema, while those on the outside of the elbow are associated with psoriasis.

If you experience itching under your arms and itchy armpits, it may be an allergy to your deodorant. Itching in the armpit can also be the result of irritation from clothing, perspiration, hair removal, etc.
Having an itchy body is never pleasant. Scratching sometimes leads to the development of scratching lesions that are susceptible to superinfections or scarring, which in turn cause itching. Pruritus is a real vicious cycle it is difficult to escape from until the root cause is identified.

Restraining yourself from scratching when you are experiencing itching on the arms is not always easy. Indeed, the arms are a part of the body very easily accessible for scratching, including through clothing.

How do you relieve itching on the arms?

A medical consultation is useful for proper diagnosis and treatment. Indeed, the treatment of itching on the arms depends on the cause.

At the same time, there is some advice that can help people with itching on the arms:

  • Cut nails short to avoid scratching injuries. Rub skin or clothing rather than scratching.
  • If the urge to scratch arises, keep your hands and mind busy so you don't have to think about it: singing, dancing, music, drawing, writing, reading, cooking, sports, etc.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry that is too tight around the arms and wrists.
  • Wash skin with a superfatted soap, a syndet or a soothing cleansing oil. After showering and several times during the day if necessary, apply an anti-itching cream.
  • Avoid clothing that is too tight around the arms, synthetic materials, buttons, zippers, etc.
  • Beware of deodorants applied to the underarms: opt for hypoallergenic formulas, without alcohols or perfumes. To remove underarm hair, find the method that suits you best: single-use razor, wax, laser, etc. Do not apply deodorant immediately after underarm hair removal.
Back to top