By Gary M. White, MD
Palmar erythema, here in pregnancy.
Palmar erythema is a clinical finding that has a variety of causes. The redness is due to increased blood content of the skin of the palms. Some cases are familial and others idiopathic. Acquired cases may be related to increased circulating estrogen as occurs in pregnancy or liver disease. Other names include erythema palmare hereditarium and Lane's disease.
The most common identified cause is pregnancy as up to 30% of pregnant women will develop palmar erythema. Other associations include liver disease, e.g., cirrhosis (23% of people with liver cirrhosis develop palmar erythema), Wilson disease, hemochromatosis, thyrotoxicosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, drug-related, smoking and COPD
The palms are red bilaterally.
If pregnancy-induced, the changes usually resolve after delivery. Otherwise, if a specific cause is found, it should be addressed. In most cases, the condition is asymptomatic and no treatment is needed.
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