Palm rash

A rash is a symptom that can cause your skin to itch, burn, or develop bumps. While not often an indicator of a more serious condition, a rash can be a sign of an infection or exposure to an irritant.

You can develop a rash all over the body, including the palms of your hands. Throughout the day, your hand comes in contact with people, the environment, and other irritants that can cause a reaction. Understanding the cause of your rash and symptoms can help your doctor diagnose your condition.

There are a number of conditions that may cause you to develop a rash on your palm. Some of the most common include:

  • an allergic reaction
  • dry skin
  • contact dermatitis
  • psoriasis
  • hand, foot, and mouth disease
  • dyshidrotic eczema
  • impetigo
  • ringworm

1. Allergic reaction

Food allergies or medications can trigger an allergic reaction that may present as a rash. It may cause your hands or skin to itch, blister, or even develop hives.

Other common symptoms that may accompany your palm rash include:

A severe allergic reaction and anaphylactic shock are considered a medical emergency. You should seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the more serious symptoms.

2. Dry skin

In the colder months, the weather can cause your skin to dry out. This can directly apply to your palms, causing your hands to itch and flake.

Eczema and some medications may also cause your skin to dry out and develop a rash. Scratching your palms may worsen your symptoms.

3. Ringworm

This fungal infection is a common but treatable condition. Ringworm is a skin infection that manifests as a ring-shaped rash on various parts of your body. On the palms, however, it won’t develop its characteristic ring-shaped pattern.

In addition to a palm rash, you may experience:

  • dry skin
  • deep cracks
  • thickened skin
  • inflammation

4. Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a form of eczema that causes a rash when your skin or hands touch an irritant. Sometimes, skin rashes can happen immediately. In most cases, though, a skin or palm rash takes time to develop.

Contact dermatitis commonly occurs after touching:

You may also develop a palm rash from touching cleaning supplies, bleach, and some soaps. If you develop a palm rash that doesn’t improve or is accompanied by burning, seek immediate medical attention.

5. Psoriasis

This skin condition is a disease that can cause inflammation on various parts of your body, including your palms. Psoriasis can be inherited, but it may be triggered from injury to the skin, other skin conditions, or infection.

Other than inflammation on your palm, you may also experience:

6. Hand, foot, and mouth disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a highly contagious condition seen frequently among children. It’s a viral infection that can cause you to develop sores and a rash in your mouth and on your hands and feet.

Other symptoms you may experience with this infection include:

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • blisters on your tongue
  • red rash on your palm or soles
  • appetite loss

This condition is likely to heal within a few days with only mild signs of symptoms. If your symptoms worsen or don’t improve, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

7. Dyshidrotic eczema

Dyshidrotic eczema is a specific type of eczema that causes small, itchy blisters to develop on your palms. They typically appear in clusters and may be painful. The blisters will dry and peel within three weeks.

If you’re diagnosed with this condition, you may also develop blisters on your fingers and the soles of your feet. Dyshidrotic eczema is most common among women, though it can occur in men. To date, there’s no cure for this condition.

8. Impetigo

Another common skin infection among children is impetigo. This condition causes you to develop blisters on your face, neck, and hands. Children are more likely to develop this infection if they already experience other skin conditions such as eczema or contact dermatitis from poison ivy.

Impetigo is contagious and can spread from person-to-person contact, or coming in contact with things an infected person has touched. Impetigo also causes itching and can be spread to other parts of the body from scratching.

Treating your palm rash depends on the underlying cause. Some rashes can heal on their own and require no treatment. In other cases, treatment could be as simple as using lotion to moisturize your dry skin.

If you’re experiencing an allergic reaction, allergy medicine or an antihistamine can reduce symptoms and eliminate your palm rash. If your rash is the result of dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis, your doctor may prescribe a topical cream to suppress your immune response. For cases of eczema and psoriasis, avoid potential triggers and keep your hands moisturized to prevent dry skin.

For bacterial and viral infections, your doctor may prescribe you with a topical or oral antibiotic. If your symptoms don’t improve or worsen after treatment, seek immediate medical attention.

A palm rash is often a minor symptom that can be treated within a few days. However, some cases of palm rash are an indication of a more serious skin condition or infection.

If you begin to experience additional symptoms with your palm rash, or if your symptoms worsen, schedule a visit with your doctor or a dermatologist. They can help you diagnosis the condition and find the right treatment for you.

You can book an appointment with a dermatologist in your area using our Healthline FindCare tool.