What It Really Means When Your Palms Turn Red

Redness of the palms may seem a little strange but if it comes with no other symptoms, like pain or itching, you might not think twice about it. You should, however, because it can be an indicator of much more serious health conditions.

This condition is known as palmar erythema and is caused by dilated capillaries, according to WebMD. It can happen for benign reason like hormonal changes duringĀ pregnancy, and it can also exist for no known reason. It's generally symmetrical, with both palms turning red, and they may feel a bit warm. However, they should not hurt or itch.

The redness generally covers the lower half of the palm but can rise into the fingers and even the nail beds. It should turn white if you press on it, then return to red. Palmar erythema can be hereditary, so a person with someone in their family with the condition is more likely to develop it themselves.

It can indicate another concern

Palmar erythema is sometimes a secondary symptom of another disease. It is sometimes called "liver palms" because it can be linked to disorders of the liver, such as cirrhosis, according to Healthline. Other liver diseases like Wilson's disease and hemochromatosis may also cause palmar erythema.

Autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, have been found to cause red palms, along with diabetes, hepatitis C, eczema, brain cancer, thyroid disorders, infections, and chronic obstructive lung disease (via Medical News Today). If you develop red palms, your doctor will likely test you for one or more of these conditions, depending on what other symptoms you might be experiencing.

Some medications can also cause palmar erythema. For people with normal liver function, topiramate or albuterol might produce red palms, per Healthline. For those with diminished liver function, amiodarone, cholestyramine, or gemfibrozil might create the response. If you develop red palms, contact your doctor to discuss it and see if testing is required to rule out any underlying conditions.