Why the palms of the hands may become swollen or red

We rarely pay attention to our hands. The truth is that we use them for everything: from eating, combing our hair, putting on our shoes, to working. The most common thing is that we become aware of its importance when we have a problem or discomfort.

Have you ever had your palms more red or swollen than usual? You should know that this part of the hand can also present some problems.

The palms of the hands are covered by numerous blood vessels and nerve endings. In fact, this explains why, in general, the area has a lighter pigmentation on the skin, as is also the case with the sole of the foot.

As we need more protection in these areas with so many nerve endings, the skin there can be up to three times thicker, causing the melanocytes, responsible for producing the melanin that gives the skin its color, to remain “hidden” and, therefore, skin looks clearer. This also explains why if we sunbathe, they don’t tan like other parts of the body.

But beyond these curiosities, if your palms are more red or swollen than usual, it may be due to one of these things.


One of the possible explanations may be the cold. If it coincides with winter, then there you have the cause. Low temperatures constrict smaller blood vessels, reducing the amount of blood that reaches the skin. This can cause irritation that could lead to:

  • redness
  • pain or discomfort
  • Tingling sensation
  • skin wounds

That is why it is very important, especially if this usually happens to you, that you wear gloves in cold weather.


In the third trimester of pregnancy, it is common to feel the hands warmer and see them more red than usual, since the mother’s body produces up to a liter and a half of additional blood, which can concentrate in the extremities.

Liver diseases

This organ plays a very important role in peripheral circulation. For example, about 23% of people with liver cirrhosis have palmar erythema.

You can prevent liver damage by maintaining proper hydration, reducing alcohol intake, and moderating your intake of saturated fat.


In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland works faster than normal because of a hormonal imbalance. Superficial blood vessels dilate and this can lead to swelling or redness in the palms of the hands.

Of course, it must also be accompanied by other symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as tachycardia, tremors, fatigue, sensitivity to heat, intense sweating and weight loss.

Rheumatoid arthritis

This is one of the most common autoimmune diseases that causes inflammation of the joints. You may also have other symptoms, such as: pain or heat in the hands, loss of motor skills, tiredness and fever, among others.


This is a rare circulatory disorder in which the superficial blood vessels dilate; that is why one of the symptoms could be the redness of the hands.

If the discomfort does not disappear after a few hours or a maximum of three days, it could be a palmar erythema, a symptom that several diseases share. It is very important that you consult with your doctor so that they can evaluate your specific case and recommend the most appropriate treatment.

Important: It should be clarified that does not give medical advice or prescribe the use of techniques as a form of treatment for physical or mental problems without the advice of a doctor, either directly or indirectly. In the case of applying any information on this site for this purpose, does not assume responsibility for these acts. The site is intended only to provide information of a general nature to aid in the pursuit of personal growth and development.


health and medicine