Itchy hands: psychosomatic meaningPsychosomatic itching in the hands is a very common condition because the hands represent the complex of acting, it is through them that we release emotional pressures.
The itching and psyche are closely and mutually interrelated, there are research and studies (psychophysiological and psychopathological) that help us to understand the complex relationship between itching and psychology. When we talk generically of emotional stress itch, we can make a specific reference to itchy hands .
The itching of the hands is not such a rare condition. What does itchy hands have to do with psychology? Evidence that psychic conditions can trigger itching has been provided by a number of studies. Dark et al., For example, have shown how certain mental conditions can trigger the release of histamine and give rise to conditions of itching , eczema and hives.
The itching was also correlated with anxiety and with masked depression. In particular, anxiety disorders, in some people, can cause an itchy skin condition and trigger a so-called ” psychogenic itch “. Before talking about psychogenic itching, it is always advisable to consult a dermatologist or an allergist to identify the variables of the case or any environmental triggering factors.
Having clarified that the conditions of emotional stress are able to trigger itching, let’s try to ask ourselves a question: what is the correlation between the psyche and the affected area of the body? Psychoanalysis has attempted to provide adequate answers to this question. Using psychoanalytic symbolism, I will try to explain the psychological meaning of itchy hands.
Itchy hands: psychological significance
The hands are the means of doing . They are directly connected to thought and to our cognitive processes, in fact they are involved every time we plan, think or hypothesize an action . It is clear that on a symbolic level, the hands have a strong emotional load to be disposed of (it is no coincidence that many people suffer from hyperhidrosis in the hands, sweaty hands).
The hands are made up of fingers, back and palm (or palm). Itching can be confined to a single area or include the entire extremity of the upper limb. Some differences can also be found on the hand involved: is it the right or the left? Let’s see all the details.
Itching in the back of the hands
The back of the hand is a very exposed area where the four reliefs of the knuckles of the hand are evident. Itching in this area of the hand indicates a propensity for action blocked by external conditions. Perhaps your willingness to act is dealing with something or someone that is putting a spoke in the wheel.
Itching in this area of the hand is also related to fear of getting caught, an omission or a lie. The back cannot be hidden, on the contrary, by closing the fist the palmar surface of the hand is completely hidden.
The back, being exposed, is more vulnerable than the palm and this is a relevant fact: at an unconscious level it could be related to the difficulty of acting connected to the fear of being discovered. As if by taking action, you would be breaking an implied covenant or agreement. As if the action you are planning could disappoint a loved one or lead you to disobedience.
In these contexts an internal conflict is generated where two forces move in opposite directions: on the one hand the fear of being discovered / of disappointing or hurting a loved one and on the other your will to act and emerge.
Itching in the palms of the hands
The palmar surface is something which can be hidden but which cannot escape obligations. If you think about it, we use this area to hold something , the prehensile action, the decisive one, comes from the palm of the hand.
Here too an internal conflict is called into question but in a different way. The itch in the palm of the hand can symbolize the difficulty in carrying out an imposed duty. Obligations and impositions can be terrible triggers for itching, so much so that when it comes to itching in the palm of the hand, the psychological explanation could be due to the difficulty in making a decision in full freedom and harmony with one’s needs.
The variables can be many: buying a new object, having to pay bills, participating (reluctantly) in a business meeting or a family meeting. The itch in this part of the hand indicates the will to want to evade responsibilities that you experience as oppressive . It can be strongly correlated to the family context but also to the economic one.
The fingers represent the final extension of the hand. The tingling in fingers is related to frustration: the desire to want to delete something unacceptable, a problem that does not want to deal with and you will not see.
When does itchiness occur?
Itchy hands can appear for a few minutes or accompany us throughout the day. If you notice cyclicality in your itch, investigate your emotional states at those times of the day.
From a psychoanalytic point of view, early morning itching can be traced back to an emotional drive linked to a will , to a certain reactivity that leads you to want to face your problems. In general, those who suffer from itching only in the morning hours are a tendency to be anxious .
When psychogenic itching occurs in the evening or at night, a spirit of defeat is denoted, a sort of submissiveness that can tend to be related to a depressed mood .
Right or left hand?
The left hand is more related to affective and sentimental aspects (family, partner, children, nostalgia, past memories, relational experiences …), therefore it sees the involvement of third parties. The right hand is related to more practical aspects that relate purely to one’s person (work, deadlines, health, physical appearance…).
What does psychosomatic mean
If your medical practitioner cannot explain your symptoms, then they could have a psychological cause . Psychosomatic symptoms exist, they are physical symptoms in all respects! Prejudice leads to misleading statements such as “it’s all in your head …!” but in reality the matter is much more complex than that.
When it comes to itching , it has been made clear that the activated brain areas are found in the cingulate cortex , which provides a physiological basis for emotional and cognitive activities. This connection can help understand how psychological conflicts can be converted into skin symptoms such as stress itch and itchy hands.
Probably, neither psychogenic nor organic itch exists in pure form and both are always coexisting. If the classic itch remedies fail to alleviate your condition, don’t hesitate to discuss it with your trusted therapist.
Physiological aspects of itching in the hands and not
There are organic factors that cause itching, these are: dehydration, psoriasis (several studies claim the psychosomatic genesis of autoimmune diseases like this one), uremic itching, chronic liver disease, hyperthyroidism, parasitosis and rare conditions such as itchy epidermolysis bullosa.