Welcome to Buoy Health

Learn about your back of the hand swelling, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your back of the hand swelling from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Back of the Hand Swelling Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having back of the hand swelling.

Take a quiz
Your Back of the Hand Swelling May Also be Known as:
Back of hand feels puffy
Back of hand feels swollen
Back of hand is puffy
Back of hand is swollen
Back of hand puffiness
Back of hand swelling
Puffy back of hand
Swollen back of hand

Top 9 Back of the Hand Swelling Causes

  1. 1.Dupuytren Disease

    Dupuytren Disease, also known as Dupuytren's contracture, is a condition that gradually causes connective tissue (fascia) under the skin of the palm to thicken and become scar-like. Although Dupuytren's isn't painful, it does restrict movement. The thickened tissue forces several fingers - usually the ring and pinky fingers - to curl in toward the palm.

    You do not need treatment. In many cases, the condition remains mild and causes little interference with the use of the hand. Consider seeing a primary care physician (PCP) if you are not able to place your hand flat on a table top or if your hand function is significantly affected.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    finger joint stiffness, thickened skin on the finger, hand bump, swollen hands, thickened skin on the palm of the hand
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Cellulitis

    Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and tissues underneath it. It is most commonly caused by Group A strep and typically enters the body through a break in the skin.

    You should go to your primary care doctor tomorrow. There, he or she will inspect your skin and determine if antibiotics are necessary.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, hand redness, hand pain, painful hand swelling, hand injury
    Symptoms that always occur with cellulitis:
    hand redness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Nail Infection (Paronychia)

    Paronychia is an infection of the nail folds, typically caused by Staph. Aureus. Or a fungus.

    You should go see a retail or urgent care clinic in the next day or so. You can treat this with an antibiotic such as clindamycin or bactrim.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous finger pain, fingernail pain, fingernail swelling
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  4. 4.Benign Skin Growth

    Seborrheic keratosis is a condition that causes wart-like growths on the skin. The growths are benign (not-cancerous) and look like stuck-on plaques.

    You do not need treatment for this condition because it is completely benign. However, if the lesion changes at all you should visit your physician.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    constant skin changes, itchy rash, rash with well-defined border, abdominal skin changes, neck skin changes
    Symptoms that always occur with benign skin growth:
    constant skin changes
    Symptoms that never occur with benign skin growth:
    cherry red lower leg bump
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch

    Back of the Hand Swelling Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having back of the hand swelling.

    Take a quiz
  5. 5.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway filled with ligament and bones at the base of your hand. It contains nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the nerve to be compressed. Symptoms usually start gradually, and as they worsen, grasping objects can become difficult.

    Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent permanent nerve damage. Your doctor will diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome with a physical exam and special nerve tests. Treatment includes resting your hand, splints, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines. If symptoms do not improve with these less invasive treatments, your physician may recommend surgery.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, hand weakness, wrist pain, pain in one hand, weakness in one hand
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Irritant Contact Dermatitis

    Contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore, or inflamed after direct contact with a substance. This condition most often affects skin of the hands, and may occur after repeated and prolonged exposure to substances such as water, detergents (soaps, bleach), solvents (gasoline), acids, powders, dust, and soil. The onset of the skin reaction is usually within 48 hours of contact with the substance.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own. The main treatment for this disease is to avoid the substance that triggers the skin inflammation. Moisturizer can also be helpful to provide relief for your inflamed skin.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    hand pain, facial skin changes, hand skin changes, hand redness, rash on the outer part of the finger
    Symptoms that always occur with irritant contact dermatitis:
    hand redness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Acute Postinfectious Glomerulonephritis

    The kidneys are a pair of important organs that lie near the spine whose function is to filter blood. There are about 1 million glomeruli in each kidney, which are tiny balls of thin blood vessels where there filtration takes place. After an infection anywhere in the body, especially a streptococcal infection (strep throat), these glomeruli may become inflamed.

    You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours. Prescription medications are needed to take care of the inflammation as well as any infection if it is still present. The kidney is an important organ and needs to be taken care of as soon as possible!

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  8. 8.Frostnip of the Upper Limbs

    Frostnip is damage of the outermost layers of the skin caused by exposure to the cold (at or below 32F or 0C). It is most commonly found in people doing leisurely activities like camping, hunting, or snow sports.

    Those with suspected frostnip should have wet clothing removed. Rubbing affected areas worsens damage to the tissue. You should go to an urgent care. If rewarming can occur without chance of refreezing, it can be tried in the field. At urgent care, the doctors will guide you in gently re-warming the wounded area in 98-102F (37C-39C) water. Further, ibuprofen, antibiotics, and a tetanus shot may be necessary

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    hand numbness, hand pain, hand redness, cold fingers, cold hands
    Symptoms that always occur with frostnip of the upper limbs:
    cold fingers
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  9. 9.Hypothyroidism

    Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped organ inside the neck, no longer produces adequate levels of hormones. Thyroid hormones are essential for many bodily functions including breathing, heart rate, and metabolism.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Hypothyroidism is a complex condition that is usually treated with hormone replacement therapy.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Back of the Hand Swelling

  • Q.Is your hand swelling getting better or worse?
  • Q.How long has your hand been swollen?
  • Q.How swollen is your hand?
  • Q.Is your hand swelling constant or come-and-go?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our back of the hand swelling symptom checker.

Take a quiz

Back of the Hand Swelling Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced back of the hand swelling have also experienced:

    • 15% Hand Pain
    • 3% Hand Numbness
    • 2% Pain in One Arm
  • People who have experienced back of the hand swelling had symptoms persist for:

    • 36% Less Than a Week
    • 31% Less Than a Day
    • 17% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced back of the hand swelling were most often matched with:

    • 31% Dupuytren Disease
    • 14% Cellulitis
    • 7% Nail Infection (Paronychia)

Back of the Hand Swelling Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having back of the hand swelling.

Take a quiz