Itchy Thumb: Am I Getting Rich or Losing Health!!!

Itchy thumb or itchy fingers, in general, is a constant feeling of tingling in your fingers that just doesn’t want to go even when scratched to an excess. The itchy feeling may be localized at a certain portion of your thumb or it may be all over, or it may even be associated with a feeling of pain underneath.

Whatever the cause, itching sensation leads to constant scratching on the surface which may cause redness, dryness, crack, and bleeding of the skin. Such a sensation, in most cases, may not be associated with any condition, though in some, underlying conditions may play a role.

A few notable conditions leading to such discomfort along with a few probable solutions will be discussed in the following thread.

What Is an Itchy Thumb?

Itchiness is an uncomfortable, disturbing sensation on your skin that makes you want to scratch. Itchy thumb hence is an unpleasant, tingling feeling on your thumb. It was believed, such a sign could mean money is coming to the person. In most cases, itching occurs due to any dryness on the skin, insect bite, allergic reactions, and so on. It doesn’t seem like a very important problem at first glance.

itchy-thumb

However, you may still want to get a proper diagnosis behind the cause of itching as it may indicate conditions such as contact dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, liver diseases, kidney diseases, blood cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome and it may even have an association with covid 19 according to some recent studies.

Any skin condition, in general, is also an indication of an individuals living conditions, occupational conditions, and overall hygiene condition of a locality.

The itchy thumb can very well signify any deficiency in your everyday life and urge you to bring about some specific changes and hence must not be ignored.

Itchy Thumb vs Itchy Fingers

Itchiness usually affects the entirety of a region, so if you have any of the above-mentioned conditions you may feel general itchiness over all your fingers and palm of your hands. However, an itchy thumb can occur, and it may not have an effect on the remaining of your fingers and palm.

itchy-thumb-vs-itchy-fingers

Usually, a tingling sensation on your thumb may denote a localization of dermatitis or any adverse drug reaction.

Itchy Thumb: Causes and Symptoms

Contact Dermatitis

Also known as eczema, or skin eczema the condition denotes an allergic reaction to everyday objects which causes an unpleasant sensation on your skin everyday time you touch an object that triggers a response from your body.

A few objects that may trigger such itchiness: perfumes, jewelry, metallic substances, dye or chemical substances, etc.

ontact-dermatitis

A person having such a condition may experience symptoms such as:

  • Redness of skin due to an inflammation on the effected regions.
  • A tingling, uncomfortable feeling on your fingers that triggers itchy thumb and itchy fingers.
  • Patches of dry skin on your hand

Dyshidrotic Eczema

Also known as foot and hand eczema, the condition is thought to be the outcome of stressful conditions in the workplace, chemical irritants, and allergies. It is characterized by:

  • Fluid-filled blisters on the skin
  • Itching sensation that doesn’t subside
  • Flaky, cracked skin
eczema
People who are at risk of hypersensitivity reactions and women are more likely to develop this condition.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a condition that causes excess development of skin cells, which ultimately leads to the development of patchy, flaky skin on the surface. It is characterized by areas of redness, scaly skin, cracked skin, and pain.

Diabetes

One of the manifestations of diabetes is a sensation of tingling and itchiness in the thumb and fingers due to the increased glucose level affecting the nerves. The diabetic patient will develop sensitiveness to touch in their fingers and also a feeling of pain.

Scabies

Scabies is probably one of the most accurate indicators of an individual’s hygiene status. The condition is caused by tiny mites that lay eggs after entering a person’s skin, causing small, itchy bumps.

Scabies usually develops in regions of skin folds of our body such as between fingers and toes, inner elbows and knees, and genitals. It is characterized by the appearance of small pus-filled blisters on the skin. 

scabies

Allergic Reactions

Though not as specific as any of the above-mentioned conditions, allergic reactions to any everyday objects bring about a series of symptoms among which itchy thumb and fingers are quite common.

COVID-19

Scientists have recently discovered that people who tested positive for covid-19 develop discoloration and swelling on their extremities particularly toes and in some cases their hands. The swelling can progress to a tingling feeling along with itchiness and blisters.

Autoimmune Conditions

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition where your immune system recognizes and acts against your own body parts in particular your bone joints. Itching sensation in your fingers may be associated with this condition or it may come from eczema which is another type of autoimmune disorder.

Pregnancy and Itching

A generalized itching all over the body is very much typical in pregnancy. With the increase of your belly size, a generalized dryness starts to develop all over your skin along with stretching. Such a dehydrated state can cause an itchy thumb, which may progress if proper nutrition and hygiene conditions are not maintained.

Diabetes and Itching

Undiagnosed or poorly treated diabetes has a number of clinical manifestations on your skin. Elevated levels of glucose cause dryness of the skin which causes itchiness and feeling of discomfort that is itchy thumb and fingers. Such conditions can be taken as a warning sign and proper management should be taken accordingly.

Itchy Fingers but No Rash, What Is Wrong?

Itchy fingers are usually manifestations of poor hygiene conditions leading to bug bites and chemical exposures, which leads to scratching and formation of rash on the skin’s surface. However, the itchy sensation can also be caused by hormonal imbalance, kidney, liver diseases, blood cancers, which won’t cause the rash appearance of the skin.

In recent times, the corona is such an important topic, take care of your skin, ensure hydration and keep basic topical creams close by to prevent any damage to your skin.

As such, itching without rash might actually be a much scarier occurrence than your typical rash and scratching itchiness. Let’s have a look at a few conditions where itchy fingers don’t cause any rash formation:

  • Hypersensitivity to drugs: Drugs, in particular to those in the opioid category ( acetaminophen, morphine), chemotherapeutic agents (synthetic drugs), drugs used to control blood pressure, etc, may cause itching on your skin without any rash formation.
  • Nerve Disorders: Some underlying conditions have been identified to cause problems in the nerves which hampers transmission of signals from the skin and an itching sensation. A few conditions such as: diabetes, stroke may cause nerve damages leading to itchy fingers without causing the rash.
  • Kidney Disease: Though not identified as to why kidney conditions had been found to be related to itchiness on the fingers without any rash formation. In such cases, a clear-cut diagnosis is of vital importance as dialysis may be needed to control it.
  • Liver Disease: Liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatitis may also cause itchy fingers without any rash formation. 
  • Blood Cell Abnormality: Abnormal proliferation of blood cells in conditions such as hodgkins lymphoma, causes peripheral accumulation of blood cells. In such cases, a sensation of tingling and itchiness can form which won’t be associated with rashes.
  • Skin Cancer: Though not prominent, an early manifestation of skin cancer can be an itchy sensation of fingers without any rash formation.

So, in the end, it can be mentioned that atypical itchy fingers without any rash can actually be an indication of underlying diseases, so it should not be ignored and proper diagnosis should be ensured.

How to Get Rid of Itching?

The treatment plan to get rid of itching varies according to the initiating stimuli and external manifestations. A few tried and proved methods include:

  • Use cold water to soak your hands preferably under a running tap, you can also use iced water to relieve the pain.
  • Always ensure hydration of your skin as dryness is one of the principal causes of itchiness, use moisturizers, gels and drink an adequate amount of water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Apply topical creams on the itching area, in particular corticosteroids or anesthetic creams such as pramoxine.
  • Use mild soaps to clean your hands.
  • If you have itching without any rash i.e. due to any underlying diseases, probable treatment includes –
  • Take diabetic test i.e. HbA1c test 
  • If you are a diagnosed diabetic person, review your blood sugar level and take treatment accordingly
  • Ensure proper diagnosis for people having the potential of suffering from blood diseases or kidney/liver diseases
  • Always ensure basic hygiene practices.
  • Ensure health protocols at work place and try to find probable cause of any allergy to  remove inciting agents.

Final Words

Itchy thumb, fingers, toes, or generalized itchiness, are quite common in our everyday lives. Such a sensation of discomfort is a nuisance to our day-to-day activity. While in most cases such conditions are caused by allergic reactions or insect bites and gradually subsides without many problems.

But, in severe cases of skin blisters, rash appearance eg: eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, scabies medical attention is necessary and the more you abide by basic hygiene practices the more you can avoid occurrences of such conditions.

Itchiness in the fingers and toes without the appearance of any rash or blisters is one topic that seems a matter of great concern due to its association with underlying disease conditions.

Patients who are at risk of stroke, diabetes, blood cancer along with those diabetic patients who don’t keep their blood glucose level at balance, may often suffer from such a condition with no notice. In such cases, consultation with a physician along with appropriate lifestyle modifications is necessary.

FAQs

How to stop your thumb from itching?

The answer depends on the agent or causes behind your itching. If the itching is from an insect bite or any chemical reactions, try insect repellants as odomos, mosquito coils, etc, and for chemicals, try finding and removing the objects causing the itching.

What do itchy fingers mean?

Itchy fingers in most cases are a basic response to allergic or pathogenic stimuli, in some cases, it occurs due to disease conditions as eczema, scabies, dermatitis, psoriasis, or even in physiological conditions as pregnancy. If the itchiness occurs in absence of rash, it may be an indication of diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and some other underlying conditions.

How do you know when itching is serious?

If your itching goes to a point where it doesn’t subside even on scratching or taking basic measures, if the itchy sensation lasts longer than 2 weeks, if you see other associated symptoms in other parts of your body eg; itching all over the body, redness, pallor, weakness of your body, the condition may not be only an insect bite or allergic reaction. In such cases, consult your doctor and take treatment accordingly.

Can Diabetes cause itching?

Diabetes can cause peripheral neuropathy which is a condition affecting your nerves, in other words, it inhibits the relay of pain sensation to your brain. A feeling of tingling or itchiness may develop in such instances.

Why does my finger itch on the inside?

A feeling of itchiness on the inside can occur due to any allergic reactions or even in the instances mentioned above due to stimulation of nerves on the inside.

Faiyad Ahmed

Hello, this is a Faiyad Ahmed. As a future doctor pursuing my MBBS degree, I have always been enthusiasitic about influencing a much healthier, wholesome approach to leading life. Here's hoping my passion for healthful living is reflected on my articles and people can change their overall outlook on living following those.

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