What is hand rash?

Rash is a symptom that causes the affected area of skin to turn red and blotchy and to swell. The rash may cause spots that are bumpy, scaly, flaky, or filled with pus. Rashes can vary in location, pattern and extent and may occur in any area of the body. A rash on your hand can have a variety of causes, and it may indicate something occurring around the hand itself or suggest a systemic (body-wide) condition.


Contact dermatitis (skin inflammation) is caused by an adverse reaction to something that touches the skin, including chemicals found in detergent, soap or a fragrance. For example, you may develop a rash on your hand after you try a new brand of soap or lotion. Other forms of contact dermatitis include exposure to certain plants, such as poison oak or ivy, an animal bite, or an insect sting. Lyme disease is caused by a tick bite and can first appear as a circle with a bull’s-eye pattern, then progress to a rash.

Allergies to food and medications are potentially serious sources of rash. Peanuts, shellfish, strawberries and avocados are just some of the foods that can trigger allergic reactions. These foods may cause mild reactions; however, in some cases, reactions could develop into potentially life-threatening conditions characterized by vomiting, difficulty breathing, and swelling. Allergic purpura is a serious, often life-threatening allergic reaction that can affect the joints, gastrointestinal tract, and kidneys as well as lead to a skin rash.

Rashes may also occur in skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and impetigo. The hand is a common location for psoriasis eruptions, which cause scaly white spots and inflammation. Some chronic skin conditions may flare up for a time, then resolve. Scabies, a contagious disease caused by tiny mites, typically starts on the hands, in the grooves between the fingers. Other causes for rash include autoimmune disorders that occur when the body is attacked by its own immune system, which normally serves to protect it from foreign invaders (antigens). Many viruses that occur during flu season, or those associated with childhood diseases, can produce rash. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease, a condition that occurs in children, may be accompanied by a non-itchy rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

Rashes can be caused by an allergic reaction to food, medications, lotions or detergents. These reactions can range from mild to potentially life threatening, especially if swelling and constriction of breathing occurs, which could indicate anaphylactic shock. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if a rash is accompanied by any serious symptoms including swelling of the face, swelling and constriction of the throat, difficulty breathing, fainting, change in level of consciousness or alertness, pale skin, or purple rash.

Seek prompt medical care if a rash is persistent or causes you concern.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with hand rash?

Hand rash may be accompanied by other symptoms, depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Certain conditions that cause hand rash may also involve other body systems.

Related localized symptoms that may occur along with hand rash

Hand rash may be accompanied by other localized symptoms including:

CAUSES

What causes hand rash?

Hand rash may have many possible causes, including allergens (agents that cause allergies), infections, autoimmune disorders, or other causes such as stress.

Allergic or inflammatory causes of hand rash

Hand rash may be caused by contact dermatitis. Common triggers include:

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 2, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Skin, Hair and Nails


Top Features in Skin, Hair and Nails

15 Ways To Get Better Medicine

People who are actively involved in their medical care stay healthier, recover quicker when they're ill, and live longer, healthier lives.