Anything affecting the hands may become pretty uncomfortable and inconvenient. This is because hands are involved in a lot of things we undertake through our daily routines. Swollen itchy hands will be present and felt most on the fingers although the palms could also be itchy too. The swelling and itch could also be accompanied by formation of hives, have a rash or no rash. There are many possible causes for this. These are as discussed below.
Swollen Itchy Hands Causes
The causes for swollen itchy hands range from things as simple as a bite by an insect to conditions as complex as kidney failure. To help get rid of the itch and swelling, it is important to know what the cause of the same is. This will help in adopting an effective form of treatment. The causes include:
When one has an allergic reaction, it normally is accompanied by skin inflammation. This may see you develop swollen itchy hands. The allergy may be caused by cleaning products, contact with allergens as well as food consumed.
Spilling or touching your skin with something hot can see your skin swell. With time as the healing process progresses the skin becomes itchy and starts to peel off. As old skin cells shed off, new ones regenerate resulting in the itch.
Another cause of swollen itchy hands could be insect bites. When bugs bite, they tend to inject venom in the skin that sees the area affected swell. As the venom spreads and the body reacts, itching surfaces. At times a visible rash may develop.
When the kidneys fail, it is possible for fluids to buildup in the body. The fluid retention can see the hands and feet swell with accompanying itch over time. The itching can be attributed to the fact that fact that toxins are not channeled to their right channel of elimination thus itchy skin on various parts of the body.
Psoriasis is a condition skin condition in which the skin cells grow too fast. It is characterized by patches of red skin, puss filled bumps as well as silver scales. Painful and swollen itchy hand joints are also common and may also occur in other parts of the body.
Eczema is a skin condition that leads to the inflammation of the skin. There are different forms of eczema affecting the body with dyshidrotic dermatitis affecting both the hands and the feet. In addition to giving the patient itchy hands, the skin may also become scaly, red and cracked. Clear blister swellings may also be witnessed.
Scabies is caused by the human itch mite. This bug is tiny and invisible to the human eye. It tends to dig into the skin and lay eggs on the top layer resulting in scabies. Where an area is crowded and people have frequent skin to skin contact, it is easy for the condition to spread.
Where infants and young kids are affected, itchy hands and feet accompanied by clear blister swellings are common. Also visible could be skin colored lines and sores on the skin.
Swollen Itchy Hands during Pregnancy
During pregnancy, there are hormonal changes that could cause imbalances in the levels available. As a result, fluid retention is common especially in late pregnancy and can be seen on the feet and hands. Where this is of concern to the expectant mum, see a doctor immediately. Never self-medicate in pregnancy as this could harm the baby.
Swollen Itchy Hands after Exercise
Engaging in physical exercises involves subjecting the body parts to vigorous activities. Participants have regularly complained of swelling and itching later on something that Mayo Clinic regards as normal. This could be due to the increased demand for energy during exercise as well as increased exertion.
Depending on the exercise, it is possible for fluids to get trapped thus swelling. The itching could be caused by an accumulation of lactic acid. Talk to your instructor so they can advise on the best way of relieving the swollen itchy hands.
Swollen Itchy Hands at Night and in the Morning after Waking Up
Itchy and swollen hands at night that spread through to the morning while waking up can be as a result of various skin conditions that tend to worsen at night. Eczema can worsen at night especially with kids.
Other times itch that has been caused by dry skin can worsen at night due to overheating which reduces amount of humidity in the atmosphere. Where the swelling comes on the fingers in the morning, the brachial plexus nerve could be the cause. Also watch out your sleeping posture ass this could cause swelling due to exertion on the joints.
Swollen Itchy Hands Relief
When suffering swollen itchy hands, a remedy that works for the swelling as well as to relief the itch is necessary. In most cases, swollen itchy hands relief will depend on the cause. Where it is a symptom of an existing health condition, it is necessary to deal with the condition to get rid of this and other symptoms. This is best done under the instructions of a doctor. For other causes, below are various ways on how to get rid of swollen itchy hands using home remedies.
1. Cold Compresses
Applying a cold compress on a swollen itchy hand can help in relieving the symptoms. For the swelling, ice compresses help slows down circulation to the area which reduces swelling and relieves any pain. For the itch, the cold compresses numb the area reducing inflammation.
- Place a wet wash cloth in the refrigerator for a few minutes and then wrap or place it on the affected hand.
- Alternatively, wrap some ice in a wash cloth and press it on the hand.
Oatmeal has a soothing effect and will help get rid of itchiness anywhere on the body. Soak in an oatmeal bath to benefit from its soothing effects. You can use colloidal oatmeal for this or grind regular oats into a fine powder. Add a half a cup of this into a vessel and soak your hands in it for 15 minutes.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
This is a perfect home remedy for swollen itchy fingers. It is rich in potassium which makes it effective in reversing fluid retention and thus help in eliminating the swelling. In addition, it also has anti-inflammatory properties which help in dealing with the itch and any accompanying pain.
- Add a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and consume the solution twice daily.
- You could also mix water and vinegar I equal portions then soak a wash cloth in it. Wrap this on the hand for a few minutes and repeat as may be necessary throughout the day.
4. Epsom Salt Soak
Epsom salt has the ability to draw out excess fluid from the skin. This helps to get rid of swelling, itching and any associated pain.
- Saturate some water in a vessel with Epsom salt and soak the hands in it for up to 15 minutes.
- Repeat procedure every other day until the problem resolves.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe has for centuries been used as a healing salve. It helps in getting rid of inflammation on the skin. It is a very easy to use remedy as all you need to do is get a fresh aloe leaf and cut it open. Rub the aloe gel on the hand and allow it to dry.
Both over the counter and prescription medication for swollen itchy hands are available. These could be in the form of creams and lotions. Menthol ointments are great for this as they help to soothe the skin. Where the cause of the swelling and itch is an allergic reaction, antihistamines can help.
Tips on How to Deal with Itchy Swollen Hands
- To reduce swelling on the hands, keep them propped up. This will help in draining the fluids.
- Diets high in sodium cause fluid retention. When suffering swelling on the hands avoid high sodium diets.
- Avoid any known allergens to prevent allergic reactions
- Watch out for insects and bugs to avoid hives and rashes from their bites.
In case your swollen itchy hands last more than a few days, stops you from engaging in your daily activities is accompanied by fever, fatigue and a change in bowel activities, see a doctor immediately.
References and Sources
Web MD: Why do my Hands and Feet Itch?
Medline Plus: Angioedema
Steady Health: Itchy Swollen Fingers