In popular superstitions, an itchy right palm means one may expect a gain, usually financial. However, according to Budgets Are Sexy, this depends upon the culture that holds the belief, as some people hold the opposite belief that an itchy right palm means the loss of money while an itchy left palm means a gain. According to superstition, rubbing the palm on wood gets rid of the itchiness and protects against the loss of money.
Whether or not the superstitions hold merit, persistent itchiness in one or both palms usually indicates a larger medical problem. Med-Health outlines several causes of itchy palms including atopic dermatitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, eczema, food allergies, primary biliary cirrhosis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Dr. Payam Rafat also explains that itchy palms may result from skin rashes owing to a variety of causes such as inflammatory conditions of the skin, allergic reactions, sun exposure, insect bites, and bacterial, viral or fungal infections. Dr. Michael S. Fisher explains that itching on the palms may also indicate an allergy or contact dermatitis, noting that ringworm of the hand and scabies also make the palms itch. MDHealth notes that chronic stress and anxiety sometimes irritates the palms and makes them itch.