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What Causes Itching Fingers?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Itching fingers can be quite a concern for many patients, especially since there can be many different causes for this troubling symptom. Most causes of the itching can be treated at home, although visiting a doctor for an accurate diagnosis is important. Some of the more common causes include contact dermatitis, eczema, or an adverse reaction to foods or medications. Treatment for itching fingers will primarily focus on treating the cause of the itching, although oral medications and ointments are common treatment options.

Contact dermatitis is among the most common causes of itching fingers and results in a rash as well as inflammation of the skin. Some possible causes include skin contact with harsh cleaning solutions or detergents. Poisonous plants such as poison oak or poison ivy can be responsible for contact dermatitis, as can an adverse reaction to latex. Food sensitivities can lead to itching skin as well. Oftentimes, a visit to the doctor is necessary in order to get a clear diagnosis determining the cause of itching fingers.

Eczema is a well-known cause of itching fingers. This skin condition causes inflammation, pain, and itching of the affected areas. While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, it is believed to have a genetic component, and those with this skin condition are more prone to having allergies such as hay fever. Many believe that food allergies, particularly to dairy, may be responsible for eczema outbreaks in many patients.

Itching fingers can often be a symptom of diabetes, a condition in which the body is not able to properly regulate blood sugar levels. Diabetes can lead to poor blood circulation, and this can cause itching. A simple blood test at the doctor's office can often determine whether a patient has this condition. Diabetics with itching fingers need to be particularly careful, as diabetes decreases the body's ability to heal normally, increasing the risk of infection if the patient scratches or if oozing sores appear on the skin.

An allergic reaction to a particular food or medication can often lead to itching fingers. Insect bites or bee stings can sometimes cause the same reaction. Often, an oral antihistamine can be taken to alleviate these symptoms. Anti-itch creams and ointments are also available without a prescription and may help bring some degree of relief to the patient. However, if the face starts to swell or the patient has difficulty breathing, emergency medical care is of utmost importance.

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Discussion Comments
By anon992097 — On Aug 13, 2015

1. Stop ingesting milk (casein) products.

2. Disinfect skin (instead of antibiotic application).

3. Apply Elidel (safe/nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory).

4. Take non-drowsy antihistamine Cetirizine.

Eliminate other foods causing residual reaction, e.g. tomato products, and wrap (also Wet Wraps) painful skin.

By anon989647 — On Mar 16, 2015

Finger itch comes from dairy. Stop eating pizza (cheese) and ice cream.

My hands were a living hell before using an elimination diet to identifying the cause as dairy. My fingers inflamed, itched, developed tiny bead-like pustules leaking clear fluid (ichor), the skin rubbed off, the fingers and hand bled, split, and became infected (paronychia).

By lluviaporos — On Jun 28, 2011

My father had a terrible case of eczema that would flare up on his fingers every so often. It was usually when he was stressed or feeling ill, which made it all the worse.

The doctors could never manage to cure it, but he would slather it with anti-itch creams and anti-bacterial creams to make sure it didn't get infected.

He would also try very hard not to scratch it, because that always made it worse, but I know it was very difficult to stop himself. He would try wearing gloves, but that seemed to make the itching even worse.

I always felt so bad for him. Not just because of the itching but also because the itchy bumps on his skin didn't look very pretty, and he was embarrassed by it.

Really, though anyone who would judge a person on someone like that doesn't have a good opinion I would want.

By croydon — On Jun 26, 2011

I found that when I was unfit and starting to exercise again that my fingers were often sore and itchy at the beginning of the walk or run.

I was usually going out in the early morning, while it was still cold, and I think it was something to do with my circulation. If I rubbed them it seemed to help a little bit, but mostly I just had to grin and bear itchy fingers for a while.

It would usually clear up after a few minutes. The first few times it happened I was convinced I was developing arthritis at a young age.

I do wonder though if it means that I will develop this later on.

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