What is palm rash?

Rash is a symptom that causes the affected area of skin to turn red and blotchy and to swell. A 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 palm can have a variety of causes, and it may indicate something occurring around the palm itself or suggest a systemic (body-wide) condition.

Skin Problems Spotlight

Contact dermatitis (skin inflammation) is caused by an adverse reaction to something that touches the skin, including chemicals found in a detergent, soap or a fragrance. For example, you may develop a rash on your palm 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. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a tick-borne illness that causes rash; it starts on the arms and legs and can spread to the palms of the hands. Syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease, can also produce a characteristic rash on the palms.

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 cause a skin rash but can also affect the joints, gastrointestinal tract.

Rashes may also occur in skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and impetigo. The palm 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 palms, in the grooves between the fingers. Other causes of 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, is associated with palm rash.

Rashes can be caused by an allergic reaction to food, medications, or products such as lotions or detergents. These reactions can range from mild to potentially life threatening, especially if swelling and constriction of breathing occurs, which could indicate anaphylaxis. 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 palm rash?

Palm rash may be accompanied by other symptoms, depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Certain conditions that cause palm rash may also involve other body systems.... Read more about palm rashsymptoms

CAUSES

What causes palm rash?

Palm rash may have many possible causes, including allergens (agents that cause allergies), infections, autoimmune disorders, or other causes such as stress.... Read more about palm rashcauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 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


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