Palmar erythema is a reddening of the palms that can occur for several reasons, but it can also occur for no reason at all. But what is this condition? What is the palmar erythema definition?
We’ll take a look at what palmar erythema is and palmar erythema causes, as well as palmar erythema treatment, so you know what to do the next time your palm goes red.
What Causes Palmar Erythema?
The first question you may have is, “What is palmar erythema?” As mentioned, it is a reddening of the palms. The reddening usually covers the entire palm but does tend to extend into the bases of the thumb and little finger.
As to what causes it, that’s a bit of a harder question to answer. The truth is, there are a ton of common causes of this condition, but many of them don’t seem like they have anything in common with one another.
Some of the common causes can include:
• Portal hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Chronic liver disease
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Oral contraception
• Deep telangiectasia
• Hand, foot, and mouth disease
• Rocky Mountain spotted fever
• Diabetes mellitus
• Secondary syphilis
• Antiepileptic drugs
And those are just the possible common causes. There are several other causes that are rare diseases and conditions. Brain cancer and many other cancers can also trigger palmar erythema. It can also occasionally happen for no apparent reason, and can be a hereditary condition that can come and go.
Now that you have an idea of what can cause palmar erythema, it’s time to look at how to diagnose it.
Diagnosing Palmar Erythema
As with any medical issues, diagnosing palmar erythema begins with a few questions. Your doctor will go over your recent and past medical history to try and isolate the condition and the causes of it. After going through your medical history, the next step is to look for the symptoms of palmar erythema.
Those symptoms can include:
• General redness (it can range from dark red to a light pink, and is usually an even color from the base of the thumb to the base of the little finger)
• Your hand feeling warm to the touch
• Itchiness (rare except when related to pregnancy)
• Mild swelling
From that point, the doctor can then use this to diagnose palmar erythema and then use it to help diagnose other underlying health issues that caused it in the first place. After a diagnosis has taken place, you can then move on to the treatment phase.
Treating Palmar Erythema
So you have all of the symptoms of palmar erythema. Your doctor has confirmed that it’s the reason why your hands are red, so now you move on to the treatment. How do you get rid of palmar erythema?
The quick answer is that you don’t. There is no treatment specifically for palmar erythema. There are no creams or pills that can do anything about it directly. However, if you treat the other medical condition that created the condition in the first place, then the palmar erythema and its symptoms should disappear.
Palmar Erythema Should be Noted
Palmar erythema isn’t much of a big deal. Your hands will become red, maybe a little itchy, and very rarely is it painful. However, palmar erythema can often be a sign of a bigger health problem that should be taken care of as soon as possible.
Although you may not be bothered by palmar erythema, you should take into consideration that it may be the result of high blood pressure or even cancer. Seeing a doctor is a prudent course of action if palmar erythema occurs and does not go away within a day or two.
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Fadden, H., “Palmar Erythema (What is it, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment),” Improve Your Health, October 15, 2016; http://health-benefits-of.net/palmar-erythema, last accessed May 10, 2017.