Ever found a small lump on your palm and wondered what it was? There are over sixteen different problems that are associated with that palm lump. Others such as malignancy or leprosy of the hand come as a rare consideration. The first thing to do when you notice that lump on the palm of your hand is seek medical attention to rule out infections and skin cancer. Once that is done, there is the likelihood that the lump is just a small callus formation on your palm and Dupuytren’s contracture. This article explains the possible causes of lump in palm of hand and how you should deal with it.
If you recently started doing some unusual work with your hands or began handling a new instrument or tool (one that your hands are not used to handling), you may have callus. This is because the tool or instrument applies repeated or frequent pressure to your palm, which results in irritation and the lump.
If you have taken on a new hobby that requires you to handle a different tool or instrument and then notice the formation of a lump on your hand, chances are it is a callus. An easy solution for the callus is wearing gloves each time you handle the instrument or tool until your hands get accustomed to it. You can, alternatively, try to handle that object in a manner that will prevent contact with your palm or handle the tool in a way that your palm will not be stressed.
A palm lump that is associated with Dupuytren has a swirled or dimpled appearance. It can also be thicker than an average callus as it is not worn down easily.
Dupuytren Contracture takes years to progress, but it occasionally develops in weeks or months. It starts as thick palm skin and as it progresses, the palm skin starts to take on a dimpled or puckered appearance. A stiff lump tissue can also form on the palm. It is usually sensitive to touch, but not painful. In progressive stages, the tissue cords under your palm skin may extend to the fingers. As the cords become tighter, your fingers may get pulled to the palm, and in some cases, severely. The most commonly affected fingers are the pinky and ring finger though the middle finger is also affected sometimes.
The cause of Dupuytren Contracture remains unknown. However, researchers have speculated that this condition could be linked to autoimmune reactions. An autoimmune reaction is where your immune system starts attacking the body tissues. Dupuytren often comes about with conditions known to cause contracture in other body parts like the penis or feet.
If this disease progresses at a slow pace, no pain is experienced, and the impact on your ability to use your hands is little. In such a case, there is no need for treatment. Instead, wait and observe to see whether the condition progresses or not.
Treatment involves breaking or removing the cords apart. The cords need to be broken or removed because they pull your fingers towards the palm. This treatment can be carried out in various ways, and the procedure mostly depends on the severity of the condition, symptoms and any other problem related to your health.
Watch a video for introduction of Dupuytren’s Contracture:
A tumor is any abnormal bump or lump. Hand tumors can appear on your skin like a wart or mole. They can also occur underneath your skin inside the bone or soft tissue. Since there are many types of tissues in a hand (like the ligaments, bone, fat, tendon, skin and so on), the types of tumors that can occur are different. However, there are a few common ones like:
Unlike the ganglion sheath, the tendon sheath is a solid mass and can occur anywhere so long as there is a tendon sheath nearby. They are masses that grow slowly and are benign. They spread through the under-skin soft tissues. They are not cancer.
This is also benign, and it forms underneath your skin as it originates from the skin’s undersurface where there may have previously been a puncture or cut. Skin cells usually secrete protective waxy material known as keratin. They go through a cycle where the skin cells on the surface slough off and die to the environment. When skin cells are trapped, they keep on making keratin and also continue reproducing and sloughing. The dead skin cells and keratin get trapped underneath your skin, which results in the creation of cysts. The cysts start to grow, keratin is produced, and the skin cells die. Ultimately, you end up with sacs attached to your skin’s undersurface that are full of cheesy substances.
There are other tumors that are less common. They include fatty tumors (lipomas), glomus tumors, fibromas (picture on the left), nerve sheath and neuromas tumors. All these tumors are practically benign. Bone spurs may form from trauma or arthritis, which have a hard feel. Foreign bodies such as splinters are also known to cause reactions which form bumps or lumps in your hand (picture on the right).
However, you should never take for granted any bumps or lumps you find on your palm as some may turn out to be cancerous. Skin cancers are one of the most common malignancies of the hand. Examples include melanoma, basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Other cancers that are rare include bone or soft tissue sarcomas. Cancer can spread to the hand from other body parts like the breast or lungs.
Ganglions are benign gelatinous fluid sacs which form off a tendon sheath or joint. They frequently appear in your wrist, but can also appear around your finger joints. Ganglions form when part of a tendon or joint capsule starts ballooning and gets filled with fluid that lubricates the tendon or joint.
Watch a video for introduction on ganglion cyst