Itching (itching) in the hands and feet can be a symptom of different skin conditions such as allergic rash, psoriasis or dermatitis. It can be painful or extremely irritating and can make the skin rough, red, or lumpy and blistered, making it worse at night. It is important to get a diagnosis from a doctor, but it is possible to alleviate the nighttime discomfort caused by itchy hands and feet with a variety of medications and home treatments.
Method 1 of 3: Treating Itch at Home
Step 1. Avoid scratching yourself
Avoid scratching yourself as much as possible. Scratching your skin can exacerbate some symptoms or cause other problems, including a skin infection.
- Keeping your nails trimmed can help prevent scratching.
- Think about wearing gloves while you sleep so you don't scratch your skin.
Step 2. Moisturize your skin
Moisturize the skin on your hands and feet before bedtime to help reduce or prevent itching. Hydration can be aided by using a humidifier in the bedroom.
- Apply moisturizer to your skin at least once a day. The best time to apply cream is after a shower, while your skin is still damp. Concentrate the application of the product on the areas that itchy the most, both after bathing and before going to sleep.
- The moisturizer must not contain fragrances or dyes so as not to irritate the skin.
- A humidifier in the room ensures moisture in the air. That way, the skin doesn't dry out, and you avoid scratching yourself while you sleep.
- Avoid extreme temperatures that can dry out your skin.
Step 3. Soak in a warm bathtub
Standing in a tub of warm water can soothe itching and lessen inflammation. You can also add some colloidal oats to the water to enhance the calming effects.
- Add a pinch of baking soda, raw oats or colloidal oats to the water - all of these products can help alleviate the symptom.
- Stay in the bathtub for just 10 or 15 minutes.
- Make sure the water is warm and not too hot. Hot water can remove the skin's natural oils, making it dry and more itchy.
- After showering, apply a moisturizing lotion to your skin before it dries out, giving more attention to your hands and feet. The lotion helps keep the moisture from the bath on the skin, keeping it hydrated and less prone to itching.
Step 4. Apply a cold or wet compress
Put a damp, cold, or wet compress on your hands and feet when you go to bed. A cold water bottle or compress can help soothe the itching and inflammation associated with itching by constricting blood vessels and cooling the skin.
- It is possible to apply a cold compress to the affected area every 10 to 15 minutes or until sleep.
- If you don't have a cold water bottle, you can use a pack of frozen vegetables, which has the same effect.
- Do not put ice directly on the skin. Don't forget to wrap the bag or the ice itself in a cloth as, if left in direct contact with the skin, it can cause frostbite.
Step 5. Wear loose, soft-fabric pajamas
Prevent and relieve itching by wearing pajamas that don't irritate the skin. Clothing can also serve as protection from scratches.
- Wear cool, loose-fitting pajamas made of soft fabrics such as cotton or merino wool to avoid scratching and excessive sweating.
- Cotton is good as it allows air to pass through and provides a soft feeling.
- Consider wearing gloves and socks to prevent itching.
Step 6. Create a comfortable, cool sleeping environment
Sleep in a comfortable bed in a cool, well-ventilated room. By controlling factors such as temperature and brightness, wearing comfortable bedding and having air circulation, you can avoid itchy hands and feet.
- Keep the temperature between 15 to 21°C to improve sleep quality.
- Turn on the fan to circulate air or open the window.
- Use comfortable sheets made from natural fibers such as cotton.
Step 7. Monitor your skin for symptoms of infections
When your hands and feet are dry and itchy, you are more likely to get infections. If you notice any of the symptoms below, see your doctor immediately.
- Pain or lack of sensitivity
- warm skin to the touch
- Red blisters or spots.
Method 2 of 3: Avoiding Itchy Hands and Feet at Night
Step 1. Take proper care of your feet and hands
Wash your feet and hands regularly to reduce the risk of fungal and bacterial infections, which can be very itchy. Use a mild soap, which is sufficient to keep your feet and hands clean and prevent infections.
- Wear sweat-absorbing cotton socks to help prevent itchy feet if your feet are used to sweating heavily.
- Gloves made from natural fibers, such as cotton, also help in this case.
Step 2. Choose a washing powder and mild or hypoallergenic detergents for washing clothes
When buying soap or detergent, prefer those that are described on labels as mild, fragrance-free, dye-free, or hypoallergenic. These products contain less hazardous chemicals that could irritate your skin and cause itching.
All products classified as “hypoallergenic” on the market are tested on sensitive skin and do not cause irritation
Step 3. Avoid allergens and irritants
Itching can occur because of specific allergens or irritants. By figuring out which triggers trigger the itching, you can avoid the irritants and thus alleviate the discomfort as much as possible.
- Triggers can be allergens, food allergies, cosmetics, environmental factors, insect bites or detergents with very strong chemical substances.
- If you wear any jewelry, the itching can be the result of an allergy to the metals present in the piece.
- If you suspect a specific trigger, try decreasing your exposure to it and see if there is relief from the symptoms.
Step 4. Stay hydrated
When the skin starts to itch, a signal is sent to the brain, which sends the message that you need more water. This is because itching is usually the result of dehydration. At the same time, if the deeper layers of the skin are not moisturized enough, it may feel itchy. Drink water throughout the day and don't forget to have a full glass before bed.
- Try to drink at least eight to 12 glasses of water a day. If you get sick of water, drink some juice.
- You can also eat foods with a high concentration of water, such as cucumber, cherry, tomato, celery, green pepper, watermelon, strawberry, cantaloupe and broccoli.
Step 5. Avoid known irritants and allergens
Your condition can get worse if you are exposed to possible irritants such as chemicals or pollen. If you know what your allergies are, including food and dust, do your best to stay away from them.
If you don't know, go to an allergist to have them run some tests and find out which substances you are allergic to
Step 6. Avoid vasodilators and excessive sweating
Certain foods and drinks known as vasodilators, such as coffee and alcohol, can exacerbate itching. Excessive sweating can also make the situation worse. Avoid vasodilators and situations that make you sweat a lot to minimize itching and discomfort.
The most common vasodilators are caffeine, alcohol, peppers and hot water
Step 7. Decrease stress
Unwanted tension in your life can exacerbate the itching. Try to relieve everyday tension in order to lessen or cure the itching.
You can employ a variety of techniques to minimize stress, including therapy, medication, yoga, or exercise
Method 3 of 3: Getting medical treatment
Step 1. Go to the doctor
If the itching doesn't go away after a week or becomes very uncomfortable, see a doctor. He may prescribe oral medications, steroid creams or even light therapy (phototherapy).
See your doctor if the discomfort is affecting your sleep or routine, if your skin is sore, if home remedies and personal care are not working, or if an infection is suspected
Step 2. Apply calamine lotion or an anti-allergy cream
Calamine lotion or an over-the-counter anti-allergy cream can alleviate the symptoms of itching. You can buy one of these at a hypermarket or physical pharmacy or online.
- An over-the-counter anti-allergy or hydrocortisone cream will also help. The cream must have at least 1% hydrocortisone.
- Look for an anti-allergy cream that contains camphor, menthol, phenol, pramoxime and benzocaine.
- Apply these creams to your hands and feet before moisturizing your skin. Your doctor may also suggest that you apply the cream to the affected areas and then wrap them in a moistened bandage, which makes it easier to absorb the product.
- Follow the product-specific instructions to find out how many times to apply per day.
Step 3. Take over-the-counter oral antihistamines
These drugs can neutralize allergens and help relieve itchiness and inflammation. There are several antihistamines available in pharmacies, both in physical stores and online.
- Chlorpheniramine is available in 2 mg or 4 mg. You can take 4 mg every four to six hours. Do not exceed a total of 24 mg per day.
- Diphenhydramine is available in 25mg and 50mg. You can take 25 mg every four to six hours. Never exceed the daily dose of 300 mg.
- These remedies often have the added benefit of a sedative effect, which can be helpful for those who have difficulty sleeping.
Step 4. Think about the idea of taking antidepressants
There is evidence that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) can help relieve itching. Talk to your doctor about this option if other treatments are not working.
Some SSRIs commonly used to treat itching are fluoxetine and sertraline
Step 5. Use the steroid prescribed by the doctor on the area affected by the itching
When the itching does not alleviate by applying any over-the-counter topical corticosteroid ointment, the doctor may prescribe a stronger topical or oral ointment such as prednisone.
- Oral steroids can cause serious side effects if used for a long time.
- Continue to moisturize your skin during treatment with oral or topical corticosteroids. The lotion, in addition to keeping your skin hydrated, can also prevent itching when you stop taking steroids.
Step 6. Use a calcineurin inhibitor cream
When neither treatment works, try using a calcineurin-inhibiting cream to repair your skin. This type of medicine, which includes tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, can help to normalize the skin and reduce itching.
- Calcineurin inhibitors directly affect the immune system and can have serious side effects such as kidney problems, high blood pressure and headaches.
- These drugs are prescribed only when other treatments have not worked and are released to people over two years of age.
Step 7. Perform light therapy
Your doctor may recommend some phototherapy sessions to help alleviate the itching. This treatment is very effective and can range from limited sunlight exposure to the use of artificial light, although there may be risks.
- Phototherapy exposes the skin to controlled amounts of sunlight or short-wave UVA and UVB artificial ultraviolet light. This treatment can be used alone or in conjunction with medication.
- Exposure to light increases the risk of premature aging and skin cancer.