Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do my hands get really swollen and red, itchy, and my knuckles turn white?"
I'm a 20 year old mother. This has been happening since I was 8, though, especially after I've been walking around or standing for a while. I'm overweight, and have been since being about 8. I have a skin allergy to nickel, prediabetes, and thinning hair. I've been treated for depression and bad skin.
It is difficult precisely to know what is going on without having more information, but given the fact that you have a documented medical history of skin allergies, it is very likely that the swelling, redness, and itchiness of your skin is related to eczema, or skin inflammation. Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin that has unclear causes, but it more common in those with a history of allergy. It leads to redness and itching, which can result in cracking and scaling. The mainstay of treatment of eczema is moisturizing. It is helpful to apply a thick moisturizer to the hands multiple times a day. It is also helpful to avoid submerging the hands in water (such as for washing dishes), which you can accomplish by always wearing gloves when performing this and similar chores. Applying an over the counter steroid cream to the more troublesome red and itchy spots will help get you through the flare. If these methods do not work, then you should talk to your primary care doctor or your dermatologist, as additional medications, such as stronger steroid creams. might be helpful for you to get the itching and redness under better control.