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Palms occasionally get red and itchy causing chills. Reason?

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Practicing since : 2008
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My palms are red and itchy, this is not regular. Once in a while.
I feel cold at that time.
I observe this at office only.
Posted Mon, 3 Jun 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Geetika Paul 1 hour later
Thanks for your query

I understand your concern and hope I will be able to help you for the same.
Now your problem is that of red itchy palms.

We have a very long list of conditions which can lead to red, itchy palms. We can have both pathological causes and psychological causes.

First of all, I would like to know from you if there are any kind of skin lesions also present over the palms. Any kind of whitish scales, any small firm lesions or any raised lesions over the palms associated with itching can lead us to a totally different diagnosis in the form of allergic reactions or fungal causes. You might have to closely inspect the items that you touch at your workplace to rule out allergic causes. Sometimes, we come in contact with plastic or rubber items or some kind of oils or chemicals at work place which can be irritating to our skin. But such kind of skin reactions are usually associated with skin lesions.
You can send me a picture of your hands also, so that I can take a closer view of your skin condition.

Now as far as I can understand, since there are no associated skin lesions, then this leads us to a totally different viewpoint. Redness and itching in palms can be a sign of an anxious personality. Since I understand that you get this itching only at workplace, sometimes the pressure of work or anxiety at workplace can lead to these symptoms.

Dry skin of palms can be a reason for itchy palms. This can simply be relieved by regular application of moisturizers.

On the other hand, such symptoms may be an indicator of some underlying problem in few cases. Although this is not very common, but we may have to rule out certain important causes like thyroid dysfunction.

Regarding treatment of the same, after reaching a final diagnosis, treatment of the cause is important. Oral antihistamines can be given and are helpful in most cases along with topical application of steroid creams and moisturisers.

Hope that solves your query to some extend
If you can send me few close up pictures of the same, it would be of great help.

Dr Geetika Paul
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Palms occasionally get red and itchy causing chills. Reason? 32 minutes later
Thanks Dr XXXXXXX for quick response.

Its gone now.

There is nothing on the skin to suggest any external factor.

I have always related this itching to chillness of the room.

Re: Redness and itching in palms can be a sign of an anxious personality
This is new perspective. I am not sure whether I can attribute this, I can watch out for this and relate in future. May be it acts as a trigger in cold.

BTW, there will be anxious moments on regular basX
Answered by Dr. Geetika Paul 4 hours later

Good to know that there are no external lesions over your hands, atleast it rules out any allergic tendencies due to any external agents.

Now regarding the anxiety that I mentioned about, among the psychogenic causes for itchy palms and soles, stress and anxiety can induce, aggravate and maintain persistent itchy palms and soles, in the absence of any skin rashes. This may not be true in your case but it is a well known cause of the same.

We also have certain idiopathic causes for itchy palms and soles. Many a time, itching of the palms and soles appear without any apparent causes. These are called idiopathic itchy palms and soles.

Well there is an entity called cold urticaria or itching caused by cold air/ water but it is usually a generalized form of itching leading to itching all over the body due to cold air. Itching only over hands and feet can occur on contact with cold water or cold objects.
Such kind of cold urticarias are usually treated by prevention of the offending agent or by regular courses of antihistamines.

Among pathogenic causes, it is always important to rule out any thyroid disease in such cases. If you have any other symptoms of hyperthyroidism in the form of nervousness, irritability, increased perspiration, heart racing, hand tremors, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, thinning of the skin, fine brittle hair or weight loss, then I would recommend that you get a thyroid profile done.

Hope this helps you
Anything else that you want to clarify, please let me know.

Dr Geetika Paul
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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