Itchy Elbows with Red Bumps, Rash, Welts, Treatment, Remedies

Itchy elbows may be caused by bumps, rashes or even welts. Allergies can also make them itchy due to the irritation on the skin. In children and some adults, a dry skin can lead to psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. These too can lead to your elbows itching.

Itches occurring on your body are always frustrating, but the most annoying ones have to be the ones that take place in the areas that are hard to reach in your body. For instance, consider your itchy elbows. The elbows are body and do not have a lot of flesh in them for you to dig into. As such, it appears to be particularly cruel to find that they are one of the most preferred locations by itchy conditions such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

Itchy elbows due to rash and bumps on elbows
Itchy skin on elbows may be caused by bumps and rashes on the skin.

These conditions are characterized by rapid turnovers of cells. In the end, you will find that itchy scales and dry patches begin to show up on the skin surface. In most cases, you will find yourself having to scratch the elbows constantly in a bid to ease the itchy feeling.

Itchy elbows causes

Bumps, sores, rashes, dermatitis and anything that causes irritation to the skin around your elbows may result in itchiness. Here are some of the conditions known to cause itchy elbows:

1. Small red bumps on elbows

When you look at all your body parts, you will quickly come to the realization that elbows are often exposed to very many contaminants in a single day. You will find that they are exposed to the sun, irritants such as soaps and detergents, as well as your everyday clothing.

  • In addition, your elbows are also prone to irritations, especially if you happen to have a pressure sensitive skin surface.
  • You will find that there are a number of environmental factors and medical conditions, which can contribute to the formation of these bumps all over your skin surface.
  • Once the bumps have appeared on the skin surface, they are bound to be very uncomfortable.

2. Bumps on elbows from skin parasites

Scabies is caused by small mites, which burrow under your skin surface in areas where there are tight clothing items, or hide in your skin folds. One of the areas preferred by mites, leading to scabies, is the area around your elbows.

When they attack your elbows, they leave behind tiny red bumps, which are known to be very itchy. Normally, scabies is considered to be a contagious condition and can easily be spread from one person to the other when they come into contact. According to the information provided by the American Academy of Dermatology, scabies affects close to three hundred million people in the world each year.

3. Bumps related to the immune system

When your immune system becomes weak or compromised, you will find that your skin cells do not slough off as they should, but instead, small red bumps may start to appear on your elbows. The condition is known as psoriasis, and even though it is not contagious, it is known to run in families.

A number of factors can trigger psoriasis. Majority of the people carrying the psoriasis gene often develop the small red bumps in winter season, as well as when they are undergoing a stressful period in their lives.

Other circumstances known to trigger psoriasis include injuries to your elbows or when you contract strep throat, which is also known as sore throat. Ultimately, the small red bumps will lead to itching elbows. You can treat them by taking medication such as lithium, which is commonly used by people with bipolar disorder.

4. Bumps related to dermatitis

Another common skin disorder that manifests in the form of small red bumps is eczema. According to studies conducted by Aetna InteliHealth, this skin condition at first appears in an erratic manner before transforming into a chronic condition.

Contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis

After years of dealing with eczema outbreaks, your elbows may begin to permanently change their color, and may become dry, while developing a thick skin that is filled with scaled. The skin disorder is inherited and has been linked to allergies such as pollen and gluten.

5. Rash on elbows

When a rash appears on your elbows, it causes the entire area that is affected to become red, blotchy, and to start swelling.

  • It is normal for a rash to cause spots, which appear to be bumpy, flaky, scaly, and may at times be filled with pus.
  • Elbow rashes may have a number of causes, and will in many cases indicate that there is something occurring around your elbows.

An elbow rash leading to itchy elbows can be caused by contact dermatitis and dry skin.

6. Contact dermatitis

The condition is brought about by an adverse reaction to items that come into contact with your skin including the chemicals that are found in fragrances, detergents or soaps. For instance, it is possible for you to develop an elbow rash when you wear a shirt or t-shirt that was cleaned using a particular detergent.

Being exposed to a metallic substance may also lead to the formation of this kind of rash. Additional types of contact dermatitis include being exposed to plants such as an animal bite, poison ivy, or being bitten by an insect. A tick bite is known to cause Lyme disease, which first appears like a circle before it progresses to form a rash.

7. Allergic reactions to medications and food items

These are primary sources of rash in your body. Food items such as shellfish, avocados, strawberries, and peanuts are some of the food items that have been known to trigger allergic reactions in human beings. In most cases, they cause a mild allergic reaction.

Itchy elbows due to rash and bumps on elbows
Rash and bumps on elbows due to allergy.

However, there are situations when these reactions may become life threatening and may be characterized by swelling, vomiting, and experiencing difficulty breathing. For instance, allergic purpura is a life-threatening condition, which apart from causing a rash, is also accompanied by itchy elbows.

8. Dry skin on elbows

This is another factor that can cause itchy elbows. Normally, dry skin occurring on your elbows tends to be very painful.

Many dermatologists will first check the appearance of the dry skin before they can start treating the area. On elbows, the dry skin can be brought about by a variety of factors, which range from skin infections, dermatitis, or boils on the skin surface.

9. Dermatitis

The condition causes itchy elbows, redness, and swelling. It often causes the skin surface to begin breaking out into blisters, which are quite itchy and painful. When such an outbreak occurs on your elbows, it is assumed that you have dermatitis herpetiformis.

Dermatitis herpetiformis is a condition brought about by gluten sensitivity or your body reacting to food items that contain wheat in them. You can use antibiotics to control the itchiness as well as the dryness being experienced on the elbows.

10. Psoriasis

It is a condition that often manifests in the areas around your knees and elbows. According to the information furnished by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the conditions presents itself in the form of white bumps, which are scaly in nature, and are common over patches of red skin surfaces.

Often, a psoriasis outbreak is brought about by the presence of too many cells under your skin surface. For people with the condition, they are often advised to try out phototherapy, a treatment used to treat their dry elbows using light. You can also use moisturizers to help relieve the additional symptoms.

11. Scleroderma

This is a skin condition which often attacks the tips in your elbows, making them to begin swelling, and to become dry and very painful. When this condition flares up, your elbows become tender to the touch. The pain experienced when a person has this condition is because of the overproduction of collagen. Normally, the condition is inherited.

12. Diabetes

If you would like to know whether you have diabetes, be on the lookout for skin conditions that include infections and boils, which may start to appear on your body parts, as well as on your elbows. When your elbows are inflamed, they become hot, and very red in color. The condition has also been known to cause itchy elbows, and a physician will need to perform a skin biopsy to determine what caused it.

13. Welts

According to MedicineNet, welts can be caused by an allergic reaction or by a sharp blow. Welts are described as raised red areas appearing on your skin surface, and which can cause itchy elbows. When it starts forming, it can be in the form of a bump or ridge.

According to Medline Plus, welts often appear in the form of hives, and can be described as itchy red swellings that come about because of an allergic reaction. They are often as a result of histamine, and other chemicals in the body getting released into your blood stream. Welts can be triggered by medicines, environmental allergens, certain foods, as well as bug bites.

Itchy on the insides of elbows

According to information on Mayo Clinic, itchiness on the inside part of your elbows may be caused by the presence of dry skin, more so when there are no additional symptoms accompanying the itchiness. Cold or hot environments that have a low humidity may make your skin to start drying out, and will in the process cause itchy elbows.

Hives, psoriasis, and dermatitis are some of the skin conditions that are known to affect the skin surrounding your arm joints. Lice and scabies are parasitic infections, which can affect the skin around your arm making it very itchy. Allergic reactions to poison ivy as well as irritations may also cause itchiness on your elbows.

Relief remedies and treatment for itching elbows

Itchy elbows can be a great source of pain for a person, hence the need to make sure that you deal with the problem as soon as possible. Some of the conditions that can bring about the itchiness include allergic reactions, eczema, and psoriasis. You can use the following home remedies to tackle this problem:

Olive oil

Virgin olive oil has been known to work as a very good moisturizer, which helps facilitate faster healing, while at the same time promoting your skin renewal. It is great for this task as it comes with antioxidants, and happens to be rich in vitamin E. It will therefore assist in soothing your skin, while at the same time dealing with the itchy elbows.

What to do at home

  1. Take the virgin oil and rub it across your elbows. You may also choose to use olive oil together with honey. The combination should be used a few times each day until the itchiness subsides for good.
  2. Alternatively, consider adding a little turmeric powder to your olive oil as you apply it on the elbows. Application should be repeated three times each day for a week or until the itchiness disappears. Turmeric is rich in anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which is what makes it ideal for relieving the itchiness.

Apart from using olive oil, you can also use coconut oil and castor oil as alternatives. They will all serve the same purpose, and will assist in eliminating the itchiness within no time. Another popular remedy is the combination of cod liver oil and vitamin E supplements.

Baking soda

Baking soda is the remedy to go for when the itchiness is accompanied by a rash. The home remedy assists in drying out the rashes, while also assisting do away with any inflammation that may be present.

What to do at home

  1. Take a single part of baking soda powder and combine it with three parts of water. You will then need to take this mixture and apply it using your fingers all over the itchy elbows. Make sure you leave it on your elbows for a few minutes, and then proceed to rinse the paste off. Apply the baking powder paste once each day
  2. Alternatively, you can also combine baking soda with a little coconut oil to come up with a paste. You will then need to use this paste on both elbows. You should allow the paste to remain on your elbows for a minimum of five minutes before you can use cold water to rinse it off. Repeat application of this blend each day until you notice an improvement

Note: baking soda should not be left on your skin surface for a long time as it can cause further irritation, which may lead to more itching.

Oatmeal

It comes in handy when one is dealing with itchy elbows that have become inflamed. It comes with anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, which assists in achieving this goal. It is the best remedy to use when tackling an allergic reaction that has been caused by poison ivy.

Dry skin on elbows can lead to itching
Oatmeal can provide relief for an irritated skin.

What to do at home

  1. Take oatmeal and grind it using a coffee grinder, food processor, or blender. Take a single cup of finely ground oatmeal and place it in your bathing water. Make sure to soak your body, ensuring that the elbows come into contact with the water. You have to repeat this process until the rash goes away for good.
  2. Alternatively, consider combining half a cup of oatmeal, a single cup of milk powder, and two tablespoons of honey in a mixing bowl. Take this mixture and place it in a muslin cloth, then tie it using a rubber band, or with a ribbon. You should then place it in a bucket of water. Soak the itchy elbows in this water for a minimum of fifteen minutes before patting yourself dry with a towel, and proceeding to use a moisturizer on the skin surface. You will need to repeat the process a few times in the coming days

Aloe vera

Aloe vera comes with antibacterial, emollient, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it an excellent remedy for dealing with skin conditions that are accompanied by itching. In addition to healing the skin, it also soothes the skin, reduces redness around the elbows, and does away with the itchiness.

What to do at home

  1. Obtain a fresh aloe leaf and extra the gel from it
  2. Take this gel and proceed to apply it all over your affected elbows
  3. You will then need to leave this gel in the affected area for the next twenty minutes before you can rinse it off using warm water
  4. You have to repeat application of the aloe gel for at least three times each day until the itchiness has subsided completely

For those that do not have access to fresh aloe, they can always purchase an extract or the actual gel from the local pharmacy. Ensure you follow the instructions that have been provided in the label when applying.

Cold compress

Cold compresses are beneficial in doing away with itchiness, especially when the itchiness has been caused by shingles, insect bites, poison ivy, or heat. In addition to dealing with itchy elbows, it will also help reduce inflammation and swelling along your elbows. It can come handy when blisters begin to appear on your elbows.

What to do at home

  1. Pick a handful of ice cubes and place them in a plastic bag. Take the plastic bag with the cubes and place it on the elbows that are affected for at least five minutes. Ensure you repeat this process three times each day
  2. You could also soak a clean cloth in very cold water, and then proceed to place it on the itching elbows.
  3. Never place ice cubes directly over your skin surface

Apple cider vinegar

Organic and raw apple cider vinegar can also be used as a home remedy for dealing with itching elbows, as well as treating skin rashes that may accompany the itchiness. Additionally, it contains acetic acid, which is vital in assisting deal with skin infection, which may be causing the problem in question.

What to do at home

  1. Pick a cotton ball and dip it in apple cider vinegar before placing it on your itching elbows
  2. You will need to leave it on the affected elbows for at least ten minutes before you can remove the cotton ball.
  3. It is important to repeat this process a few times each day until the itchiness goes away
  4. If the apple cider vinegar irritates your skin, you will need to ensure that you dilute it using water before you can apply it on your elbows. If this irritation does not go away, try another home remedy

Chamomile

It is another important remedy that is relied on when dealing with different skin conditions. It can be used to relieve itching, promote healing, and reduce inflammation on swollen elbows. Additionally, it comes with antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.

What to do at home

  1. Take a clean cloth, soak it in chamomile tea, and place it over the affected elbow. You should then proceed to leave the cloth in place for at least fifteen minutes. it is recommended that this process be repeated at least three times each day for one week
  2. Chamomile essential oil can also be used in the same manner by diluting a few drops using coconut oil and then applying it over the itching elbows until you get some relief.

Neem

It comes with anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that come in handy when a person is dealing with varying skin condition. It is particularly effective when dealing with scabies, psoriasis, and eczema. Additionally, it comes with antioxidants that are needed to defend your skin surface against aging, and in assisting, rejuvenate the skin cells.

What to do at home

  1. Take a handful of neem leaves and simmer them in water for the next twenty minutes. You will then need to strain this solution before allowing it to cool down. Pick a cotton ball and immerse it in the solution, before you can place it over the elbows. You need to leave it in place for the next minutes. Make sure you repeat this process a few times each day
  2. Alternatively, consider using neem products such as lotions, leaf extracts, creams, and soaps. Whenever you have to apply neem oil on your skin surface, ensure you begin by diluting the oil using a carrier oil or a single part of water. The oil is too strong and should not be used on its own

The home remedies discussed above will come in handy when your elbows begin to itch. They will not only eliminate the itchiness, but they will also soothe your skin, and allow your skin cells to start rejuvenating again.

References

  1. Itchy Elbows Causes, Symptoms, Rash, Bumps, Treatments and Home Remedies
  2. http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/parts/why-do-elbows-itch.htm
  3. http://www.healcure.org/elbow/itching-elbows/itchy-elbows-causes-symptoms-rash-bumps-treatments-home-remedies/
Dr. Joe is a South Africa based health and medical researcher for Treat Cure Fast. Dr. Joe believes in spreading health knowledge as much as possible to promote safety and overall health. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone

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