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If Your Hand Looks Like This You May Be Seriously Ill, Say Doctors

Don't miss these warning signs.

The body has a number of reliable diagnostic indicators, "check engine" lights that don't hesitate to let you know when something's not right—headaches, chest pain, stomach issues. But another diagnostic indicator is right in front of you: Your hands. How they feel and look can tip you off to medical issues that need to be addressed. In some cases, they can indicate you might be seriously ill. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.




If one or both of your hands shake, it's called a tremor, an involuntary muscle contraction. It could be a sign of a neurological disorder like Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis (MS). Other less serious causes include caffeine use, stress, lack of sleep, or an overactive thyroid. Some medications can also cause hands to shake. A person undergoing alcohol withdrawal might also experience it.


Blue color under fingernails


Most of us have injured a finger, causing a bruise to form under one fingernail. But if you notice the skin under several of your fingernails is a bluish tint, it could indicate a serious condition called cyanosis. It means there's not enough oxygen in your blood. This can be caused by a serious heart or lung disorder, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), heart failure, or a pulmonary embolism. It should be reported to a doctor right away.


Yellow skin color



If the skin on your hand is yellow, it could be a sign of jaundice, an indication of disease in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, or pancreas. Jaundice is caused when a substance called bilirubin builds up in the blood. Normally, the liver processes bilirubin, but sometimes when the liver is damaged or there are problems with nearby organs, the liver becomes overloaded and bilirubin builds up under the skin, causing the appearance of jaundice.


Swollen joints

mature woman dealing with knee pain on walk, arthritis

If your joints are red, swollen, or tender, it could be a sign of arthritis, which involves inflammation and swelling of the joints. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage between joints wears down. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly attacks the joints. Although there's no cure, physical therapy and medications can provide relief.



doctor examining patient, arthritis

If your overall hand is puffy, it could be a sign that your body is retaining more fluid than it should. This can be caused by pregnancy, a diet that contains too much sodium, or in some cases, it can indicate a thyroid, kidney, or liver problem. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael
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