The palm comprisesthe underside of the human hand. Also known as the broad palm or metacarpus, it consists of the area between the fivephalanges (finger bones) and the carpus (wrist joint). Located in the palm are17 of the 34 muscles that articulate the fingers and thumb, and are connectedto the hand skeleton through a series of tendons. Unlike other areas of thebody, the skin of the palm is glabrous (hairless) and unable to tan. It is alsodurable, yet touch sensitive. In order for the skin layer to remain anchored tothe bone structure, a layer of connective fibrous tissue (fascia) links theskin with the skeleton. This allows the hand to grip without the skin slidingout of position. Dupuytren's contractureoccurs when this fascia layer thickens and shrinks. Its symptoms include theformation of a firm nodule in the palm that later develops into a thick band.Although it is a painless disease, over time it can inhibit the straightening ofthe digits. It is therefore treated by surgical procedure, which removes thethickened tissue. Geriatric patients are prone to ruptured veins in the palm.Signs of a rupture include spontaneous itching and a noticeable hematoma.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Palm

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