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Learn about your swollen hands, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your swollen hands 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.

Swollen Hands Checker

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Your Swollen Hands May Also be Known as:
Palm feels puffy
Palm feels swollen
Palm is puffy
Palm is swollen
Palm puffiness
Palm swelling
Puffy palm
Swollen palm

Top 6 Swollen Hands 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.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.

    Those with suspected frostbite should have wet clothing removed. Rubbing affected areas worsens damage to the tissue. You should go to the ER by car, immediately. If rewarming can occur without chance of refreezing, it can be tried in the field. There, the doctors will guide you in gently re-warming the wounded area in 98-102F (37C-39C) water. Further, ibuprofen, antibiotics, a tetanus shot, and possibly surgery will be done to treat the pain and dead tissue. IV fluids will also be started. Hydrotherapy will be done daily to help with the wounded area.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    hand numbness, hand pain, swollen finger, hand redness, cold fingers
    Symptoms that always occur with severe frostbite of the upper limbs:
    cold fingers
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  3. 3.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.

    Those with suspected frostbite should have wet clothing removed. Rubbing affected areas worsens damage to the tissue. You should go to the ER by car, immediately. If rewarming can occur without chance of refreezing, it can be tried in the field. There, the doctors will guide you in gently re-warming the wounded area in 98-102F (37C-39C) water. Further, ibuprofen, antibiotics, a tetanus shot, and possibly surgery will be done to treat the pain and dead tissue. IV fluids will also be started. Hydrotherapy will be done daily to help with the wounded area.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    hand numbness, hand pain, hand redness, cold fingers, cold hands
    Symptoms that always occur with mild frostbite of the upper limbs:
    cold fingers
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

    Swollen Hands Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having swollen hands.

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  4. 4.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
  5. 5.Nephrotic Syndrome

    Nephrotic syndrome is caused by different disorders that damage the kidneys. This damage leads to the release of too much protein in the urine, causing the body to swell.

    In general, the evaluation of nephrotic syndrome should be done in the next 24-48 hours, but it is not a medical emergency and can generally be done by your primary care doctor. Diagnosis is done by blood tests, and treatment involves medications that reduce your fluid retention and stabilize your blood pressure.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, weight gain, bilateral leg swelling
    Symptoms that never occur with nephrotic syndrome:
    cut on the foot, recent cut or wound, swollen ankle, swelling of one leg
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Ewing Sarcoma

    Ewing sarcoma is a type of bone cancer often affecting the legs, pelvis, ribs, arms or spine. It can occur anytime during childhood and young adulthood; it is rarely seen in adults.

    You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours. An early diagnosis and treatment plan can increase the possibility of a favorable outcome.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, rib pain, pelvis pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Swollen Hands

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

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our swollen hands symptom checker.

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Swollen Hands Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced swollen hands have also experienced:

    • 12% Prominent Superficial Veins
    • 9% Rib Pain
    • 9% Chest Pain
  • People who have experienced swollen hands had symptoms persist for:

    • 36% Less Than a Week
    • 31% Less Than a Day
    • 17% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced swollen hands were most often matched with:

    • 25% Dupuytren Disease
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Swollen Hands Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having swollen hands.

Take a quiz