Itchy Skin at Arm Joints

Girl resting her chin on her hands
Resting on your elbows causes friction that can start to itch. (Image: Jack Hollingsworth/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Itchy skin is known as pruritus. Pruritus on the skin at your arm joints may cause discomfort and frustration. This condition may interfere with your sleep and lead to anxiety or depression. Skin diseases, parasites and allergic reactions are often associated with an itchy rash that may affect skin at your arm joints. Dry skin in the winter time may also make these areas itch.


You can develop itchy skin at your arm joints or elbows. Itchiness may be occur with other symptoms like redness, bumps, spots or blisters. Your skin may crack or appear dry. The skin on your elbow may have a scaly or leathery texture. You may itch without experiencing any of these other changes. Itchiness may get worse if you rub or scratch the skin at your arm joints.


According to the Mayo Clinic, itchy skin on your arm joints or elbows may be caused by dry skin if you do not see another other symptoms. Hot or cold environments with low humidity levels can make your skin dry out and cause itching at your elbows. Skin conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis and hives can also affect the skin at your arm joints. Parasitic infestations such as scabies and lice may affect your arm joint skin and be very itchy. Irritations and allergic reactions to chemicals, poison ivy or poison oak can cause itchiness at your elbows.

At Home Treatment

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using lukewarm water while bathing or showering if you have itchiness on your elbows. Cleanse the area with mild cleansers that have a low pH. Rinse soap off of your body completely and pat your lightly pat your skin dry. Apply moisturizing lotion or cream to your elbows immediately after bathing to help keep moisture in the skin. Wear light loose clothing over the skin at your arm joints. If your elbows itch, and you have blistering that may occur with chickenpox or poison ivy, a cool oatmeal bath may help relieve the discomfort.


Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream that contains at least 1 percent hydrocortisone can provide temporary itch relief. Non-prescription oral antihistamines like diphenhydramine may help reduce itching. Your doctor may prescribe topical ointments and prescription antihistamines to help relieve persistent or severe itching on your elbows and arm joints. Corticosteroid creams can help relieve itching caused by inflammation or dermatitis.

When To See a Doctor

See your doctor any time unexplained changes happen to your skin. Visit your doctor if itchiness around your arm joints persists for more than two weeks. You should visit your doctor if the itching is uncomfortable and interferes with your daily activities and routines. See your doctor right away if itchiness occurs with extreme tiredness, weight loss, changes in bowel habits or urinary frequency, fever or redness of your skin.

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