The itching of your palm is driving you mad and there seems to be no explanation for this itching – except maybe carpal tunnel syndrome?
Well, don’t go there.
“Itching, which is called pruritus, is usually a result of a histamine release by mast cells,” says Alejandro Badia, MD, FACS, a renowned hand and upper limb surgeon and owner of Badia Hand to Shoulder Center in Doral, FL., and founder of OrthoNOW, the only urgent orthopedic care franchise in the world.
A mast cell is a type of white blood cell.
Itching, says Dr. Badia, “can be from a symptom of a variety of issues.” Itching that doesn’t seem to have a cause that’s directly related to the skin (a dermatological cause) can actually be caused by a variety of conditions.
But one of them is not carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a disorder involving the median nerve.
In carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve is subjected to compression or pressure.
This results in the classic symptoms of numbness, tingling and/or pain in the wrist. The pain may also extend up the arm.
But a release of histamines does not result from CTS. If you’re plagued by an itchy palm, and you have numbness, tingling and/or pain that fits the bill for carpal tunnel syndrome, this doesn’t mean that the itching in your palm is related to the median nerve compression.
Instead, you have two unrelated conditions occurring. Having your carpal tunnel syndrome treated will not relieve any itching of your palm.
Dr. Badia is a founding member of the American Hand Institute, a think tank and medical device start-up company focused on minimally invasive solutions to hand, wrist and elbow pathology. orthonowcare.com
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.