Red Palms/Fingertips

What Causes Red Palms/Fingertips?

Red palms/fingertips can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'critical'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose red palms/fingertips, we could:
  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "red palms/fingertips" as a symptom.  Here are eight possibilities (more below):
  • Pregnancy Issues
  • Hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis Of The Liver
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • CML Leukemia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Polycythemia Vera
  • Shoulder-Hand Syndrome

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
difficulty conceiving children
constant fatigue
darker/redder skin color
excess perspiration
having chronic myeloid leukemia
regular runny nose
elevated free T4
adrenal insufficiency
edema of the abdomen
loss of appetite
unsound sleep
craving for salt
... and more than 110 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of red palms/fingertips:
Cause Probability Status
Hyperthyroidism 98% Confirm
Cirrhosis Of The Liver 13% Unlikely
Adrenal Fatigue 18% Unlikely
Hepatitis 0% Ruled out
CML Leukemia 0% Ruled out
Shoulder-Hand Syndrome 0% Ruled out
Pregnancy Issues 0% Ruled out
Polycythemia Vera 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Skin Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about red palms/fingertips:
Do you have palms and fingertips that are more red than average?
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Somewhat
→ Definitely
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate red palms/fingertips, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Cirrhosis of the Liver
Red palms (palmar erythema – liver palms) are often found in patients with alcohol-induced cirrhosis and can be seen in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis.
Hepatitis
Red palms can occur in any chronic liver disease and are not specifically caused by the hepatitis virus.  The cause for the redness is unknown, but it is speculated that it may involve upset hormone metabolism or microcirculatory changes.
Pregnancy-Related Issues
The palms of the hands can become pink or red during pregnancy due to increased blood flow.  This should disappear after delivery.

Related Questions

Skin Symptoms