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Red Hands
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Red Hands

my hands have recently changed in color and sensitivity. they are a splotchy red and darker at the fingertips. the color changes with movement (above my head they are almost normal color, hanging low or exercising they are very mottled) and with pressure (almost any pressure at all leaves a red dent in the skin). i've read about liver palms but changes in color and sensitivity are never mentioned. my fingertips also shrivel in the shower after very brief exposure to water. redness and denting of the skin with pressure is also occuring in other areas of my skin such as a seatbelt will leave a noticeable mark, or crossing my legs will leave the kneecap underneath reddened. a hat leaves a red line accross my forehead. in addition, i see no color change in them, but my feet tingle after exertion. do these things sound like a familiar condition?
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I'm not aware of a specific disease that can explain your symptoms.  As you have mentioned, end-stage liver disease can result in palm and hand redness.

Various types of allergic reactions, such as hives for instance, can present with redness after pressure.  

If the redness is associated with peripheral change, that suggests a vascular etiology.  Various studies like an ultrasound, or a physical exam to evaluate the peripheral pulses can be considered.  

You can discuss these options with your personal physicain or in conjunction with a dermatologist.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
http://www.straightfromthedoc.com
5 Comments
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For almost the last year I have had red hands.  They are not swollen nor do they hurt or itch.  There are no marks on the skin.  The hands seem suffused with blood, like a blush.  Sometimes my hands are a perfectly normal pink, though the redness stays for longer and longer periods as time passes.  The hands are 58 years old and wrinkled, but uninjured as far as I can see or feel.
I have been searching the web for a while, and found nothing about this particular and singular symptom.  This site and this forum are all I have been able to find that even mentions red hands, although I don't see how there could be liver involvement in my case.  My blood pressure is excellent too.  More recently, about three weeks ago, my feet and ankles turned red and became swollen, but the red seems to be myriad red dots, small as pin pricks.  A cluster of red dots formed a little above my left ankle on the inside of the leg, and it felt like there was something hard and flat under the skin.  After a few days the cluster spread out to form a ring of pin pricks and the center skin turned slightly yellowish, taking on a leathery feel.
The feet remain swollen and red prickled, the left far worse than the right.  I often sleep with my feet elevated, which reduces the swelling for a few hours in the morning.
I have shown this to my primary physician.  We've done blood tests that covered liver, thyroid, infection, diabetes and a dozen other things, but nothing untoward was found.  The tests say I am healthy as an elderly horse.  I'm at a loss, the doctor is tracking the situation.  Is there any documentation on anything similar to my issues?  Thank you.
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I am having the same problem. I am a 28 yr old female and about maybe 3years back i had an emergency surgery done due to an ectopic pregnancy. they did a cycerian cut and ever since then my feet and my hands will turn red and burn as u mentioned above my head they are fine if i lay down i feel great. i feel even better in constant cold . i also get many red marks , and impressions, i cant carry heavy things anymore due to them leaving indentations in my fingers and it really hurts alot. my doc told me i have raynauds. well i just dont know about that. my fingers or feet have never ever turned blue, white, or purple. All i know is for such a long time i have been searching for answers and that is what led me to this place. Still I am looking and hopefully someday will get an answer to solve this so i can have a normal life. if i hear anything i will let you know. take care
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I would check into Pretibial Myxedema and see if it seems to fit the lesions you describe.  It usually goes along with Grave's disease and hyperthyroidism but can also occur with Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism.

I know you said they tested thyroid, but maybe not in detail?  Specifically, I would ask for the thyroid antibody tests:  anti-TG, anti-TPO and a TSI antibody test.  

And for all those with red palms ...... it is called palpar erythema and can result from a number of things besides liver problems.  Hormone imbalances are one of the big causes.  Too much estrogen, too little thyroid, etc......
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Just another "me too" here: I seem to have the same thing.  Splotchy red palms (unless I raise my hands to about the level of my head or higher), and pressure from an object against the skin can leave a darkened indentation for a while.  For me, the most surprising effect was the wrinkling of my fingers -- if I compress the fingers (for example, by making a tight fist), the fingers will become wrinkled in much the way you'd expect as if they'd been held underwater.

I'm a 36 year old male, and somewhat overweight; I've been assuming that my poor diet and exercise habits have been moving me towards peripheral vascular disease.  (I'm definitely trying to change my ways now!)  But I've had a heck of a time finding any description of these particular symptoms.  (I'd agree that this doesn't seem like Raynaud's problem; from what I've read, that seems to be a problem with cold temperatures, and I don't seem to have trouble with the cold.  If anything, my hands seem to be warmer than average...)

--John
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Oh!  Thanks, I hadn't heard of "palmar erythema" before.  I'll look it up...

--John
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my symptoms started with the finger wrinkling that you mentioned. that has actually subsided but the splotchy redness has not. one doctor suggested raynaud's to me also but i dont buy it. 3 physicians and no satisfactory answer yet..
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