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.

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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
  • Shoulder-Hand Syndrome
  • Hepatitis
  • Polycythemia Vera
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • CLL Leukemia
  • CML Leukemia
  • Cirrhosis Of The Liver

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:
vision disturbances
recent onset vomiting
heart racing/palpitations
macrocytic red cells
moderate right lumbar pain
recent onset nausea
high cigarette smoke sensitivity
poor tolerance of heat
hyperthyroidism in family members
hepatitis B or C
edema of the abdomen
history of hyperthyroidism
... and more than 70 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 93% Confirm
Hyperthyroidism 24% Unlikely
CLL Leukemia 14% Unlikely
Hepatitis 3% Ruled out
Polycythemia Vera 3% Ruled out
Shoulder-Hand Syndrome 1% Ruled out
CML Leukemia 1% Ruled out
Cirrhosis Of The Liver 1% 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-Related 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.

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