In detail

What your hands say about the state of health

What your hands say about the state of health


The hands are essential parts of your anatomy. They help you to carry out your daily activities, to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Besides the purely practical purpose of your upper limbs, there is also their ability to reflect the symptoms of a condition you didn't even know you were suffering from. Here's what your hands say about health and how you can interpret certain signs that may indicate circulatory, endocrine or other disorders.

Red spots on palms

Your palms are reddened by over-stresses such as laundry or gardening. If you notice that red patches persist for a long time, it could be palmar erythema, a symptom of liver cirrhosis. During pregnancy, redness of the palms is a normal process, resulting from increased blood flow.

Finger length

The length of your fingers can give you valuable clues as to the predispositions you have to certain conditions. Normally, men have the ring longer than the index, and women conversely. If a woman has a masculinized configuration, in which the index finger is shorter than the annular one, they are twice as likely to develop the condition called osteoarthritis (cartilage damage that protects the joints).

The index finger longer than the annulus are associated with an increased risk for breast cancer for women and a lower risk of prostate cancer among men, a 2008 study shows.

Fingers swollen

If your fingers are swollen and stiff for several days in a row, even though you have given up salt and plenty of liquid drinks, this could be a clear symptom of hypothyroidism.

Pale nails

Under normal conditions, if you press on the surface of the nail, it bleaches for a few seconds and then returns to the previous rosy hue. If the nails remain white and need more than a minute to regain their natural color, you may be suffering from anemia.

Strip the red under the nails

The reddish streaks that appear under the nails can indicate infections in the body, especially in the bloodstream. As they form in the direction of nail growth, they resemble a series of fine chips.

Nails thickened, convex

Thick nails, convex in shape, are common symptoms of heart and lung disease. This phenomenon occurs due to insufficient oxygenation of the tissues.

Main Health tags