Palm Skin Rash – Causes of Rash on Inside of Hands

A skin rash can occur in any region of the body. However, the palms are especially prone to getting a rash since they are frequently used to feel and manipulate the environment. During these activities, they are exposed to harsh factors in the environment that can injure the skin and can cause a skin rash.

Skin Rash on the Palms

A skin rash on the palm may also be a continuation of rash in other regions of the body. This can occur in certain skin diseases that affect a wide area of the body. The term “rash” can be used to describe different kinds of skin lesions. For example, rash could refer to the appearance of redness, roughness, dryness, swelling, and pus-filled vesicles on the skin.

Peeling of the skin in a specific region may also be referred to as a rash. In addition to the abnormal appearance of the skin, a rash may also itch due to skin irritation. However, this is not always the case. In some cases, itching of the skin may be temporary, and resolve on its own within a few minutes or a few hours. Such transient itching may not always have an identifiable cause.

Read more on hand dermatitis.

Causes of Palmar Skin Rash

A skin rash could occur due to a variety of causes. These causes include injuries, infections, allergies, and autoimmune diseases. Some of the causes of skin rash may specifically affect the skin on the palm region. In other cases, a skin rash on the palms may be a part of a widespread skin rash in multiple regions of the body.

Dryness of the skin

A dry skin can cause itching and rash in any part of the body. However, hands are particularly prone to getting dry due to their frequent contact with adverse environmental agents (such as soaps and chemicals). Dryness of the skin may also occur in environments where the air has less moisture. A dry skin is prone to cracking and peeling.

Scratching to relieve the itch on the dry skin can further damage the skin. Skin dryness can be managed through the use of moisturizing creams. Also, handling of harsh chemical substances that can cause skin dryness should be minimized or avoided altogether.

Injury to the palm

Due to frequent exposure of the palms to environmental insults, injuries to the palm are a common occurrence. The skin on the palms can get injured due to chemical, mechanical, or electromagnetic trauma. Chemical injuries can occur due to handling or spillage of corrosive chemicals (such as pool acid).

Mechanical or physical trauma can be caused by cuts, burns and contusions or bruises. Compared to mechanical and chemical trauma, electromagnetic trauma to the skin of the palms is relatively rare. The injured area of the skin usually becomes red. Pain is also frequently present. The extent of the injury depends on the intensity, duration and nature of the trauma.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis refers to an inflammation of the skin caused by repeated contact with certain irritant substances. Contact dermatitis is a common cause of skin rash on the palms. This is because we use our palms to touch and manipulate things, which increases their likelihood of coming in contact with irritant substances.

Contact dermatitis can either be irritant contact dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis occurs in people who are hypersensitive to the offending substance.

Skin irritation in contact dermatitis could be caused even by innocuous substances like perspiration, water, and soap. Repeated exposure to soaps, detergents and water can cause a skin rash that is commonly referred to as dishpan hands. Other irritants capable of causing contact dermatitis include certain metals, chemicals, and latex.

Read more on irritant contact dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is also commonly referred to as eczema. However, eczema is a broad term that encompasses many different kinds of skin rashes. Atopic dermatitis is characterized by dryness and cracking of the skin. The affected skin areas can also become red and swollen. Skin folds of the body are most commonly affected in this condition. Atopic dermatitis is common in children who have a hypersensitive immune system.

Dyshidrotic dermatitis

Dyshidrotic dermatitis is characterized by the appearance of tiny blisters on the skin. The skin of the hands and feet are most commonly affected in this condition. The skin rash in dyshidrotic dermatitis is itchy. However, scratching to relieve the itch can cause the blisters to burst. Drug hypersensitivity, prolonged fungal infections of the feet, emotional stress and allergies have all been linked to the disease. However, the exact cause of dyshidrotic dermatitis is not known.


Impetigo refers to skin infections that are caused when bacteria gain access to subcutaneous tissue through breaks in the skin barrier. The infected skin areas are characterized by the appearance of red sores that eventually burst to form yellow crusts. If the bacteria gains access to deeper subcutaneous tissue compartments, the infection can spread rapidly along the whole arm, and even to other parts of the body. For this reason, impetigo should be treated promptly.


Ringworm refers to a type of fungal infection of the skin. Ringworm infections in humans are caused by a specific group of fungi known as the dermatophytes. These fungi feed on the keratin protein present in the skin, hair and nails.

Ringworm infections are superficial skin infections that are characterized by a ring-like rash or lesion on the skin. The central part of the ring-like rash may be composed of normal skin. The skin lesions in ringworm infections are red and intensely itchy. Technically, ringworm infection of the hand is referred to as tinea manuum.

Read more on hand fungus.

A relatively rare fungal infection that specifically affects the palms and the soles is referred to as tinea nigra. In tinea nigra, the affected skin area turns dark brown or black. Swelling and redness is not usually present. Tinea nigra is a benign condition, and is not likely to spread beyond the site of primary infection.

Other causes

A skin rash on the palm may also occur due to many other conditions. Examples of some such conditions include chickenpox, shingles, rubella, measles, mumps, warts, scarlet fever, systemic lupus erythematosus, Kawasaki disease, and insect sting or bite.

Treatment for Palmar Skin Rash

Since skin rash on the palm can occur due to a variety of causes, the exact treatment for this condition depends on the exact cause. In some cases, a rash may be transient, and will disappear on its own without any treatment. In other cases, topical applications or oral medication may be required.

Examples of various skin applications that may be used for the treatment of skin rash include emollients, barrier creams, antibacterial creams, antifungal creams, and corticosteroid creams. Antihistamines may be given to relieve itching and allergic reactions that may accompany the rash.

It is important to consult a doctor for proper treatment of a skin rash. Even though a skin rash may appear minor, some skin conditions can spread rapidly and can even become life-threatening if not treated promptly.

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