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.