What It Means When Different Parts Of Your Body Itch

Everyone's been there at some point or another: you're just sitting down to enjoy a nice meal, or settle into a good movie, when all of a sudden you feel a tingling, irritating itch on your skin that seemingly came out of nowhere. It can be super annoying to deal with itchiness, no matter where it occurs on your body, especially if you're in public and can't really scratch it well. 

But even if you can relieve your itch, it might not immediately go away, and that can be concerning. When it comes to your body, there seems to be about a million things that could go wrong. A recurring itchy spot on your body could mean a variety of things, from allergies to dry, irritated skin, and even some more serious issues. 

So, if you've dealt with constant itching on a certain part of your body, you probably know exactly how frustrating it can be. That said, it can mean a variety of things when different parts of your body itch, so read on to discover what that pesky little itch really means.

If your palms are itchy, it might be serious

If you're someone who works on your computer typing all day, or does any kind of work with your hands, then it might not be ideal to have super itchy hands. And though itchy palms might seem like just a minor inconvenience, they could also be a sign of a more serious condition.

However, there are also some simple reasons why your palms might itch, such as dry skin, allergies, psoriasis, or even eczema. In fact, eczema is probably the most common reason your palms itch, according to Dr. Sital Patel, a board-certified dermatologist. "Excessive hand washing can also trigger eczema," told U.S. Dermatology Partners. "Each time you wash your hands, some of the skin's natural oils go down the drain, and many soaps can be especially harsh on sensitive skin." 

However, itchy palms could also signal that something deeper is going on. Specifically, it could be eruptive xanthomatosis, which can cause itchy feet and hands, and is commonly associated with diabetes. So, if you notice your palms are constantly itching and nothing is helping, that might mean there's a bigger issue at play.

If your feet itch, there could be many reasons why

Is there a more obnoxious spot to have an itch than your feet? If you're out in public, wearing shoes, you can't exactly scratch it to your heart's content. And if your feet keep itching, you might be wondering if there's something wrong with you, but rest assured that it's probably not a big deal.

However, there are some serious conditions that could be connected to your itchy feet. For instance, itchy feet could be a sign of liver or kidney disease, cancer, thyroid gland disease, and more, according to Healthline. But don't get too worked up about itchy feet, as it's much more likely that you just have a simple skin condition that causes your feet to develop an itch. It could be something as simple as a bug bite, an allergic reaction to a new cleaning product, dry skin, psoriasis, or even athlete's foot, among others. As annoying as itchy feet are, they probably aren't something to worry too much about.

Itchy elbows typically indicate this

When you think about your elbows, you might not think of much. Maybe your funny bone crosses your mind, or your elbow's ability to poke through crowds with ease; but really, elbows don't seem all that important or like something you consider on a regular basis. That is, unless they're itchy, and then they're probably all you can think about. And as frustrating as it can be to have an itch on such a boney part of your body, an itchy elbow typically indicates this one skin condition and it's not too worrisome.

According to HowStuffWorks, an itchy elbow is most likely a sign of psoriasis, which is a chronic autoimmune disease that leads to a rapid turnover of your skin cells. That rapid turnover then causes itchy scales and dry patches to show up on your skin, and it's very common to occur on your elbow. Psoriasis is pretty easily treated, but if it does turn out that that's what's causing your itchy elbows, it's best to not scratch them. 

Your legs can itch for a lot of reasons

It's not super uncommon for your legs to get itchy at some point. After all, your legs do a lot of work, and they deal with a lot of day-to-day wear and tear. So, just know that if your legs are itching, you're not alone, and it's probably nothing to worry about. The reason? Having itchy legs is usually caused by something simple, such as dry skin, a bug bite, psoriasis, eczema, irritation from shaving your legs, or even stress, according to Medical News Today

However, your legs are obviously a large part of your body, though, so if they're itchy, it could be that something more serious is happening. Specifically, itchy legs could be a sign of diabetes, as poor circulation can cause itching. But that's not all, as having itchy legs could also mean that you have an overactive thyroid gland, Hodgkin's lymphoma, or even a kidney disease. So, if your legs keep itching, you might want to have that checked out by your doctor.

When your forehead is itchy, this is probably why

It might not seem like a big deal to have an itchy forehead, and for the most part, it usually isn't. But having to scratch your forehead isn't exactly all that fun, because it can make your skin look red and irritated and then everyone can see it. That said, an itchy forehead typically isn't a big deal, but it can signal that your body is going through other changes.

First, make sure that there isn't a red spot or rash on your forehead if it's causing you to feel itchy. If there isn't, then you might just have allergies, dry skin, or a bad reaction to a hair care product or even a hair accessory like a headband, according to Healthline. However, if you do notice a rash or other spot on your forehead along with the itching, you could have a bug bite, high stress levels, a heat rash or sunburn, or even something like chickenpox. 

An itchy forehead can mean so many things, and even if there is a rash, it's probably easily explained.

Don't worry too much if your arms itch

Perhaps one of the most common areas to get itchy on your body is your arms. Much like your legs, your arms are a pretty big part of your body and do a lot of work for you. So, it makes sense that they would get irritated from time to time. And if you notice your forearms get itchy more often than not, you might be worried, but you don't need to be.

Your itchy forearms could actually have a name: brachioradial pruritus. According to Medical News Today, brachioradial pruritus is a condition that's chronic and causes itching and burning on your forearms. brachioradial pruritus is most common in middle-aged white women, so if that's you and you're dealing with itchy forearms, that could be the reason. But if that's not it, it could just be psoriasis, eczema, or an allergic reaction to something. So, look at how often you're dealing with itchy forearms, because it's probably just a one-time thing. And even if it's common, it's not a big concern.

This is when stomach itchiness can be an issue

Just like itchy skin anywhere on your body could be a sign of an allergic reaction, dry skin or a skin condition like psoriasis or eczema, so could itchy skin on your stomach. However, abdominal itchiness could also mean that you're pregnant, going through menopause, or are having an allergic reaction to medication, according to Healthline.

Additionally, an itchy stomach could mean that you have hypothyroidism, so look out for other symptoms like fatigue, dry hair, or weight gain. And finally, an itchy stomach could also be a warning sign that you have cancer, so if you have an itchy stomach along with red skin, pain in your stomach, or a fever, then it's time to see a doctor or other medical professional. 

An itchy stomach isn't normally something to be concerned about, unless you notice some other symptoms along with it. So be sure to take stock of everything you're experiencing to make sure you're narrowing down what could be the cause.

Knees aren't usually that itchy

Much like an itchy elbow can be pretty annoying, so is an itchy knee. The bony body part doesn't have a lot of flesh and muscle over it, so having to constantly scratch it can be pretty painful. However, if you find that your knee keeps itching and you don't know why, there are a few things that could be happening.

For starters, an itchy knee could just be the product of irritation, an insect bite, or even allergies, as noted by Buoy Health. On the other hand, an itchy knee isn't all that common, so the real reason it's itchy might just be a little more complicated. For instance, it could be eczema or psoriasis, which are both totally normal and treatable, or it could be something more severe like a dermatofibroma. Dermatofibroma is a growth that can appear anywhere and is usually harmless, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get it checked out if it's really bugging you.

A shoulder itch could mean this nerve issue

Now, an itchy shoulder can have a lot of causes. Maybe it's allergies, or dry skin, or maybe you bought a new laundry detergent that's causing irritation on your skin. But there's one specific kind of shoulder itch that you might want to look out for as it could signal something a lot more serious than just an annoying feeling on your shoulder.

Specifically, an itchy shoulder could mean that you have nerve pain called notalgia paresthetica. Notalgia paresthetica can actually cause itching on your back, but most often on the underside of the left shoulder blade, according to Medical News Today. Now, as serious as notalgia paresthetica sounds, it can be treated with medications, skin creams, or even injections, so it shouldn't be too worrisome. Additionally, though notalgia paresthetica is chronic, many people find ways to manage it, some even with alternative medicines and treatments. So, if you notice that shoulder itch is on your left side and won't go away, at least you know why.

Yes, your ears can be itchy, too

It might sound odd, but it's actually pretty normal to have itchy ears. Now, obviously, if your ears are constantly itchy it might be an issue, but there are a lot of simple reasons why your ears can itch. According to WebMD, itchy ears could just be caused by allergies or dry skin, or even by cleaning out your ears. On the other hand, itchy ears can also be a sign that there's something deeper going on.

While not all the time, itchy ears can sometimes mean that you have an ear infection. Obviously, ear infections aren't anything to stress about, but they are annoying and should be treated properly. Additionally, itchy ears could mean that you have swimmer's ear, from having too much water in your ear. Ear infections and swimmer's ear can easily be treated with antibiotics so it's nothing to stress about, but definitely don't ignore your itchy ears if it goes on too long.

An itchy nose isn't usually serious

It isn't exactly decent to itch your nose in public, as it can definitely look like you're just picking your nose, something no one wants to watch. But if you've ever had an itch in your nose, you know just how irritating it can be, and how tempting it can be to scratch it just to get a little bit of relief.

An itchy nose is probably due to allergies, a cold, a sinus infection, a migraine, or even just too much dryness in your nose, according to Healthline. That said, if your nose is constantly itchy, that could mean that you have some kind of growth inside. That can either be something benign like nasal polyps or a tumor, both of which would obviously have to be diagnosed by a doctor. Still, as annoying as an itchy nose can be, it might actually be your body trying to tell you something important, so don't ignore it.

Your rear can get pretty itchy

So, you know that there are some not-ideal places to have itchy skin; your nose, your feet, and even your stomach can all be pretty awkward and impossible to scratch in public, or at all. But there's one place where you can get itchy skin that's probably the absolute worst when you're out in public, and you probably know just what it is: your butt.

As with itchy skin anywhere else, an itch on your rear end could be psoriasis or eczema, or even an allergy or a reaction from improper hygiene. But, because it's your bottom, it could also be some unpleasant issues. According to Health, an itchy rear could mean that you're dealing with hemorrhoids, a yeast infection, or anal fissures. An itch on your booty could even mean that you have scabies, as odd as that sounds, though that's usually accompanied by itching all over your body. Finally, an itch on your bottom could signal that you have a chronic disease like liver or kidney disease, so definitely don't brush it off.

If your scalp itches, it's pretty normal

If you've ever had to scratch your head and not like a confused cartoon character, you're not alone. Having an itchy scalp can be frustrating, especially if you can't help but scratch it after you've already styled your hair for the day. But, an itchy scalp is pretty common, and there are a lot of normal reasons why it might be happening to you.

And no, an itchy scalp doesn't automatically mean you have lice and need to shave off your hair or glob treatment all over it. While a lice infestation is a possibility, especially if you have kids in school, there are some much more likely culprits. You could have dandruff, dry scalp, a migraine coming on, an allergic reaction to a new hair product, or even just really bad stress, according to Healthline. So, try to figure out the underlying cause of the urge to scratch your scalp, because it's probably nothing to worry about, and something you can fix easily.

An itchy neck has a lot of causes

When you have something wrong with your neck, it's easy to jump to conclusions that something is seriously wrong. After all, a pain in your neck is never fun, and as important as your neck is, you might worry that it means something else. But if you have an itchy neck, it's likely no big deal, and though it's annoying it's nothing to be too concerned about.

According to Healthgrades, an itchy neck could simply mean that you have eczema or even contact dermatitis. But if your neck is itching it could also mean you have lice that just haven't traveled to the top of your head yet, or scabies or pinworms, even. Kidney disease can even cause itchy skin, so if the itching skin on your neck is persistent, that might be why. Additionally, an allergic reaction to a new food item can often cause neck itching, so if you've eaten something new, that might be what's happening.