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
  • Shoulder-Hand Syndrome
  • CML Leukemia
  • Cirrhosis Of The Liver
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Polycythemia Vera
  • Adrenal Fatigue

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:
whitish nipple discharge
partial aspartame/neotame avoidance
having trouble concentrating
tender muscles
excessive thirst
difficulty conceiving children
hot flashes during period
macrocytic red cells
unexplained missed periods
very low TIBC
late term miscarriage
... 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
Pregnancy Issues 95% Confirm
Shoulder-Hand Syndrome 16% Unlikely
Adrenal Fatigue 18% Unlikely
Cirrhosis Of The Liver 2% Ruled out
Hyperthyroidism 1% Ruled out
Hepatitis 1% Ruled out
Polycythemia Vera 1% Ruled out
CML Leukemia 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.


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.