ZocdocAnswersWhat can cause bumps on fingers after use?

Question

What can cause bumps on fingers after use?

I am 29 female and was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis 2 years ago. A few months ago I started noticing that whenever I used my fingers such as moving things or touching things repeatedly that harder painful bumps would begin to appear near the joints on the sides of my fingers or on top of my fingers. This first manifested when I was packing up boxes. Touching them or rubbing anything across them would hurt. They would then slowly disappear 2-4 days after I stopped actively using my hands. They only appear near or around joints and ONLY after repeated pressure or rubbing near the spot but they are NOT blisters - any idea what this could be? I asked my RA doc and he seemed to not know what it was.

Answer

The only thing that makes possible sense to me would be rheumatoid nodules. Rheumatoid nodules are small hard bumps that can appear under the skin, usually over joints and pressure points, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The nodules may move easily under the skin or they may be firmly attached, and they may or may not be painful. Probably more than 25% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis will experience rheumatoid nodules at some point. Although rheumatoid nodules are not a problem in and of themselves, they do tend to occur in patients with more severe rheumatoid arthritis, and so they may be a sign that the disease is more active (they often get better when the inflammation is brought under better control). The only thing that does not entirely fit from your story for rheumatoid nodules is that they seem to come and go rather quickly, and in my experience rheumatoid nodules tend to persist for longer than this. I suggest mentioning the problem again to your rheumatologist or to your primary care doctor to see if they have any other ideas. In the meantime, if the lumps worsen, become extremely painful, or if you have redness and warmth or fever, you should seek more immediate medical evaluation.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.