Hand Redness Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your hand redness symptoms, including 8 causes & common questions.

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Contents

  1. 8 Possible Hand Redness Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics
  4. Related Articles

8 Possible Hand Redness Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced hand redness. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Non-specific hand rash

A rash is an area of irritated or swollen skin. Often, rashes are unidentifiable and some variation of normal. For example, scratching one's arm causes it to turn red (which is caused by mast cells releasing chemicals into the local area), but that's completely normal.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: hand redness

Symptoms that always occur with non-specific hand rash: hand redness

Symptoms that never occur with non-specific hand rash: fever

Urgency: Wait and watch

Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the deep layers of the skin. It can appear anywhere on the body but is most common on the feet, lower legs, and face.

The condition can develop if Staphylococcus bacteria enter broken skin through a cut, scrape, or existing skin infection such as impetigo or eczema.

Most susceptible are those with a weakened immune system, as from corticosteroids or chemotherapy, or with impaired circulation from diabetes or any vascular disease.

Symptoms arise somewhat gradually and include sore, reddened skin.

If not treated, the infection can become severe, form pus, and destroy the tissue around it. In rare cases, the infection can cause blood poisoning or meningitis.

Symptom of severe pain, fever, cold sweats, and fast heartbeat should be seen immediately by a medical provider.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination.

Treatment consists of antibiotics, keeping the wound clean, and sometimes surgery to remove any dead tissue. Cellulitis often recurs, so it is important to treat any underlying conditions and improve the immune system with rest and good nutrition.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fever, chills, facial redness, swollen face, face pain

Symptoms that always occur with cellulitis: facial redness, area of skin redness

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Irritant contact dermatitis

Irritant contact dermatitis means a skin reaction that is caused by directly touching an irritating substance, and not by an infectious agent such as a bacteria or virus.

Common causes are soap, bleach, cleaning agents, chemicals, and even water. Almost any substance can cause it with prolonged exposure. Contact dermatitis is not contagious.

Anyone who works with an irritating substance can contract the condition. Mechanics, beauticians, housekeepers, restaurant workers, and health care providers are all susceptible.

Symptoms include skin that feels swollen, stiff, and dry, and becomes cracked and blistered with painful open sores.

A medical provider can give the best advice on how to heal the skin and avoid further irritation. Self-treatment can make the problem worse if the wrong creams or ointments are used.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, to find out what substances the patient comes into contact with, and through physical examination of the damaged skin.

Treatment involves avoiding the irritating substance if possible. Otherwise, the person can use petroleum jelly on the hands underneath cotton and then rubber gloves.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: rash with well-defined border, itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, painful rash, red rash

Symptoms that always occur with irritant contact dermatitis: rash with well-defined border

Symptoms that never occur with irritant contact dermatitis: fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes

Urgency: Self-treatment

Allergic contact dermatitis of the hand

Allergic contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes irritated and inflamed following physical contact with an allergen. Common products known to cause allergic dermatitis include plants, metals, soap, fragrance, and cosmetics.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: hand itch, hand redness, scabbed area of the hand

Symptoms that always occur with allergic contact dermatitis of the hand: hand redness

Urgency: Self-treatment

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Mild frostbite of the upper limbs

Frostbite is tissue damage 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. It is also more likely in those who are intoxicated or have a mental disorder.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: hand numbness, hand pain, hand redness, cold hands, cold fingers

Symptoms that always occur with mild frostbite of the upper limbs: cold fingers

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Severe frostbite of the upper limbs

Frostbite is tissue damage 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. It is also more likely in those who are intoxicated or have a mental disorder.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: hand numbness, hand pain, swollen finger, hand redness, cold hands

Symptoms that always occur with severe frostbite of the upper limbs: cold fingers

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

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.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: hand numbness, hand pain, hand redness, cold hands, cold fingers

Symptoms that always occur with frostnip of the upper limbs: cold fingers

Urgency: In-person visit

Necrotizing fasciitis of the arm

Necrotizing fasciitis is a potentially life threatening skin condition stemming from the infection of a wound or injury. If left untreated, it can spread to body parts surrounding the infection changing the color of the skin and degrading the tissue underneath. This can result in muscle, tissue or limb loss and a severe body-wide response to the infection.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, chills

Symptoms that always occur with necrotizing fasciitis of the arm: skin changes on arm

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Hand Redness

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Do you have a rash?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Is the red area flaky and rough to the touch?
  • Did your symptoms start after you were exposed to glues, fragrances, preservatives, hair dyes, soaps, detergents, or other common household chemicals?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Please take a quiz to find out what might be causing your hand redness. These questions are also covered.

Hand Redness Quiz

Hand Redness Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced hand redness have also experienced:

  • 8% Thumb Pain
  • 8% Swollen Thumb
  • 5% Forearm Redness

People who have experienced hand redness were most often matched with:

  • 80% Cellulitis
  • 20% Irritant Contact Dermatitis

People who have experienced hand redness had symptoms persist for:

  • 38% Less than a day
  • 28% Less than a week
  • 20% Over a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Hand Redness Symptom Checker

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