Swollen Itchy Hands: 6 Causes and 14 Treatments

Swollen Itchy hands could be the reason for many medical abnormal conditions. The condition brings a lot of discomfort and pain to the person. The treatment for this would involve investigating the right cause of swollen itchy hands.

There are, however, many over the counter (OTCs) and homemade or natural remedies available to treat this condition.

The treatment management, however, starts with finding the right cause of swollen itchy hands.

Causes of swollen itchy hands:

swollen itchy hands
Swollen itchy hands
Image source: onlymyhealth.com

Swollen itchy hands are often characterised as idiopathic oedema. There could be many causes of swollen itchy hands. However, some of the key reasons include:

Allergy:

Some of the allergic reactions include injury, swelling on the knuckles, broken fingers or wrist, Bruises on the fingers, hands or wrists. Some of the common causes of getting an allergy include wearing old, worn-out or unhygienic clothes, sleeping in a dirty place or a dirty mattress Insect bite.

Allergy can also be due to dirty hands because of touching something which is very unhealthy or dirty. This again might lead to allergic reactions.

The most important symptom of an allergy is itching or selling on the hands, and people tend to rub their hands to get some instant relief which in turn leads to spread of infection.

Premenstrual Syndrome:

Is associated with women and usually starts 5-6 days before menstrual cycle and goes with the onset of menstruation. Symptoms for this also include swollen itchy hands.

Pregnancy:

Pregnancy itself is associated with many physiological and hormonal changes in the body of women. Some of the changes and symptoms include swollen itchy hands.

The muscular growth of hands:

This is another reason for the swollen itchy hands.

Kidney and liver diseases:

Dysfunctioning of liver and kidney alters the excretion or metabolism of the body fluids which could result in retention of toxins or harmful minerals in the body. The retention of toxins is often associated with swollen itchy hands.

Some of the other causes of swollen itchy hands include:
  • Hand injuries or fractures
  • Blood disorders
  • Numb hands etc.
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Out of all these causes, pregnancy is one of the most common cause and in most women during pregnancy. The swollen itchy hands and legs during pregnancy are so common that most women suffer from swollen itchy hands during pregnancy.

These symptoms are common and in most cases don’t require any treatment. However, in case the problem or symptoms are very high the person might need to visit a doctor.

Remedies or treatment of swollen itchy hands:

The treatment of the swollen itchy hands starts with the analysing the other symptoms associated with it. It is also important to see if these symptoms are permanent, i.e. they are present for a long time, or they are temporary and have some cyclicity associated with them.

Many of the time the symptoms are associated with kidney or liver disease. These symptoms could also be associated with a neurological disorder. Various treatment options for swollen itchy hands include Over the Counter and natural remedies:

Over the Counter medicines include:
Sting-kill:

This works well for swollen itchy hands because of insects, mosquitoes or bug bites. These are usually seen as a swollen bump with a scar or red mark.

Benadryl cream:

Benadryl cream has diphenhydramine and used against the allergic reactions. The allergic reaction may result in the formation of a bump or a hive over the skin and may cause itching over the hands.

Benadryl cream is anti-histamine that works by blocking the response of the body towards allergens, thus preventing the reactions of the body towards these.

Topical tolnaftate:

It is useful for swollen itchy hands used caused due to fungal infections. This includes any topical ointment or cream which is helpful for the treatment of rashes due to this. This can be applied to hands or any other part infected due to fungal infection.

This fungal cream is also effectively used against eczema and the swelling and rashes produced due to them.

Home remedies:

Apart from the over the counter medicines, various natural home remedies can be used against hands swollen and itchy. These include:

Ice and ice packs:

They are a very effective treatment against the hands swelling and itching caused because of the insect bites. The ice packs should not be applied directly but should be wrapped in a cloth or cloth pack to avoid any burns.

This can be used as a first level treatment for insect bites because of the ease of availability and the fact that there is no side effect.

Baking soda:

Baking soda is a very useful ingredient for the swollen itchy skin. Baking soda is used as an acid neutraliser and is also used to treat the inflammation.

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The ideal ratio of baking soda to be applied is 3:1, i.e. 3 parts of baking soda mixed with 1 part of water or a cup of baking soda can be combined with half a bucket of water. You can dip the affected part be it hands or feet for half an hour in the bucket for relief from swelling.

Cornstarch:

Cornstarch has the similar healing properties as the baking soda. 3 parts of the cornstarch can be mixed with water to form a paste. The cornstarch mixture can be applied to the affected region to get immediate relief from the itchiness and swelling.

Oatmeal:

Oatmeal is an antioxidant and contains anti-inflammatory properties, this also reduces the itchiness at the site. Oatmeal can be ground to form a powder. One can add 1 or two cups of water to half a bucket of warm bath water for an hour.

Oatmeal can be used along with honey to form a paste. The paste can be applied to the affected area for half an hour to reduce the itchiness and swelling.

Fresh Lemon Juice:

Fresh lemon juice is known to have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anaesthetic and anti-irritation properties. For hands swollen and itchy, one needs to apply the fresh lemon juice to the affected area, and the lemon juice should be left to dry.

After the lemon juice has dried, it can be used washed away using water. One can apply lemon juice at the site as many times as required till the relief from the itching is attained.

Aloe Vera:

Aloe Vera is known for has a soothing and anti-inflammatory property. Aloe Vera contains vitamin E which is very effective against the irritation and itching. Aloe Vera gel can be applied directly over the affected area to get relief from irritation and itching.

Cloves:

Cloves contain an important compound known as eugenol which helps to numb the nerve endings. Thus cloves help in alleviating discomfort, pain, and itchiness at the site of application. A clove butter mixture can be applied at the site of irritation.

Butter and Bee wax:

This includes 6 tablespoons of butter (unsalted), 2 tablespoons of beeswax. To the melted mixture of butter and beeswax, add 5 tablespoons of ground juniper berries and 3 tablespoons of powdered cloves. After cooling this mixture, it can be applied to the affected area to provide relief against the itching and irritation.

Essential oils:

Essential oils are also known for their soothing properties. Essential oils can help in providing relief to the swollen itchy hands. The essential oils can be applied directly to the site or they can be mixed in warm bath water. Following oils have been known to provide relief against the itching and swelling:

  • Basil oil
  • Bay leaf oil
  • Chamomile oil
  • Clove oil
  • Geranium oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Thyme oil
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Apart from these, there are specialized treatment options associated with swollen itchy hands due to the premenstrual syndrome or idiopathic edema.

Premenstrual syndrome treatment:

Treatment options for premenstrual syndrome include:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids and maintaining the balance of fluids in the body
  • Balanced diet: This involves eating lots of fruits and vegetables and having the diet on time. This also involves including a healthy diet which includes control over sugar, caffeine content and avoiding smoking and alcohol
  • This also involves taking supplements such as Vitamin B6, folic acid, calcium and magnesium
  • Vitamin D inclusion as a supplement or in the diet
  • Following good practices like proper sleep and exercising in a daily routine.
  • Reducing stress through stress management therapy or a psychological advice
  • A doctor may also prescribe ibuprofen or aspirin to alleviate associated pain
Idiopathic oedema treatment:

This is another reason for swollen itchy hands, and the treatment includes:

  • Salt restriction: oedema can reduce by reducing the intake of salts in the diet.
  • Potassium-rich foods: Potassium-rich food can also help to reduce the associated oedema. This involves the inclusion of food items such as banana and tomatoes in the diet.
  • Diuretics: Diuretics are not usually recommended for idiopathic oedema, however, in some people diuretics have been found to be effective. It is best to go and visit a physician before starting treatment using these.

There are varieties of reasons which can lead to swollen itchy hands, in case the natural remedies and the OTC products are not able to provide relief or you have certain other symptoms along with these, you should consult a doctor to start the right treatment course.

References:
  1. https://patient.info/health/oedema-swelling/idiopathic-oedema
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/premenstrual-syndrome#7

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