Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"How do I deal with itchy fingers and hands?"
This is a problem I've had intermittently since having a case of contact dermatitis last fall. My hands did get better, but now sometimes my hands and fingers will get all itchy to the point that I have to rub or actually scratch them. To my knowledge, I have no allergies, and this has only been happening since the fall. I might add that sometimes my skin now gets a bit dry, but I continue to use lotion to help with that. I am female, over 45, and do not take any medications at all.
It is possible that you are continuing to have some flares of contact dermatitis that would explain these symptoms. This is particularly the case if you are still coming into contact with whatever type of product produced the reaction last time, such as a particular soap, detergent, or type of metal jewelry. If this is the case, avoiding the products more scrupulously might help, and you might want to consider gloves, for example, when cleaning around the house or using chemical products. Another possibility, which is perhaps more likely, is that you have a minor case of dyshidrotic eczema, which is a type of eczema in which small sometimes nearly invisible blisters form under the skin on the palms of the hands, provoking itching and occasionally redness and peeling. You can control this with using a good hand moisturizer, although a typical lotion is probably not thick enough. You can also avoid immersing your hands in soap and water (wear waterproof gloves). Flares of itching and redness might require topical steroid creams for a few days. Talk to your primary care doctor or dermatologist if the symptoms continue or if you have additional questions about how to manage this problem.
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