Itching on the hands and feet

Itching on the hands and feet is common, and particularly difficult to bear, because the hands and feet are used heavily on a daily basis. Sometimes it is the foot that itches, sometimes it is the hand that itches, and sometimes it is both at the same time. All our tips for itching on the hands and feet can be found here.



Why do your feet or hands itch?

Itching on the hands and feet has a variety of causes, both dermatological and non-dermatological. Pruritus sine materia is the set of types of pruritus that do not manifest skin lesions that could explain itching. These types of pruritus without plaques or spots can also cause itching on the hands and feet, as well as itching all over the body, depending on the case. The problem is that scratching leads to scratching lesions and the risk of superinfection and scarring.

Here are some examples of diseases that cause itching on the hands and/or feet:

  • Dyshidrosis: also known as dyshidrotic eczema, dyshidrosis is an eczema-like skin disease characterized by blisters that appear on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands, as well as the toes and fingers. Itching on the soles of the feet and other affected areas can cause the blisters to break and scabs to form.
  • Palmoplantar psoriasis: this is not a very common form of the disease. This psoriasis presents itself in isolation or in association with other localizations of psoriasis. Palmoplantar psoriasis is marked by dry, thick, fissured lesions or pustular lesions. In both cases, the itching on the hands and feet can be intense and adds to the disability associated with the lesions.
  • Hand-foot syndrome: this is an inflammatory dermatosis related to certain cancer treatments. The itching on the hands and feet contributes to the discomfort of the person and can turn into true pain.
  • Athlete's foot: also called ringworm of the foot, it is a skin infection caused by a fungus which initially results in lesions and itching between the toes. If the fungus spreads, then the person ends up with itchy soles in addition to itchy toes.
  • Chronic hand eczema: this is a form of eczema that is bothersome and painful on a daily basis, marked by highly inflammatory flare-ups that alternate with phases of remission where the hands often remain dry and rough. In chronic hand eczema, sufferers have itchy palms and itchy fingers, day and night.
  • Obstetric cholestasis: this is a liver disease that can affect pregnant women, most often during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. It is initially characterized by itching on the hands and feet, which can be particularly intense and cause insomnia. This disease has no harmful consequences on the mother, but it can have negative consequences on the fetus.
  • An allergy: shoes contain many components that sometimes cause irritation and allergies, resulting in itching on the feet, and sometimes itching on the ankles in the case of high-top shoes.

How do you relieve itching on the hands and feet?

Itching on the hands and feet can be relieved in many ways, depending on the original cause of the itching.

In the absence of skin lesions that are specifically treated by dermatologists, here are some tips for dealing with itching on the hands and feet:

  • Wash hands and feet with a superfatted soap, a syndet or a soothing cleansing oil, without perfumes or harmful substances. Dry without rubbing.
  • Apply an anti-itching cream once or several times a day as needed.
  • Protect hands and feet from cold and heat. Wear cotton socks and gloves to protect hands during all high-risk activities: cleaning, gardening, etc.
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