T Nation

Itchy hand?

The vixen asked me to question the gurus on the t-mag board for any ideas what could be causing periodic itching on the back of her hands where the skin is really thin. Symptoms are as follows, it begins to itch with almost a tingling feeling. When she scratches it gets worse, sometimes causing her to scratch it open. There is no rash or bite, nothing to see on the skin - just awful itching. It can last from 1-6 hours with terrible itching, followed by a few days of minor itching and tingling. It has been happening 2-3 times per year for the last 5 years in any season of the year. Her diet and exercise habits have gotten better the last 2 yrs. but the itching hasn’t changed. I’m stumped any ideas???

Does she have enough fat, especially EFAs in her diet? Being insufficient on EFA intake can cause skin problems.

I hate to say this, but there’s a chance it could be a yeast infection. I know, most of you are already dismissing this prediction. Let me just say that somehow I contracted the infection on my elbows, which spread to my computer chair. So it would go away for a couple weeks, then come back for a couple weeks. Symptoms exactly as you described. I took some antifungal cream (for athlete’s foot) and treated my arms and my chair arms with the stuff. It hasn’t reoccured in over two months. This is just a possible idea, not a medical diagnosis.

What you have describes a classic case of localized dermatitis. 2 probable causes:

  1. Contact - your hands may have come in contact with something triggering your immune response to release histamines, iGE antibodies and other nasties…
  2. Eczematous/Atopic - If you have asthma or allergies, this type of dermatitis may be more likely. In this case, your immune system is attacking your skin, thinking it’s foreign…
  3. Dietary - more EFAs; Evening primrose and Borage oils have been documented to help the most. Take about 1g
  4. Topical - if mild, ask your doctor for 1% hydrocortisone; if serious, ask your doctor for some betacort/betamethasone cream. These topical corticosteroids will dull the immune response and allow your skin to heal.
  5. Antihistamines may help, but steps 1) and 2) are probably going to be more effective
    Good Luck!