If not protected and cared for diligently, the skin on the hands can easily darken and become rough. What leads to darkened hand skin? How can this issue be improved? Read on to discover more in the upcoming article.
A Result of Acanthosis Nigricans
Acanthosis nigricans is a condition characterized by the darkening and thickening of the skin in various body regions, including the knuckles, often accompanied by itching and discomfort.
Acanthosis nigricans is relatively common, particularly among individuals who:
- Are overweight or obese.
- Have a family history of acanthosis nigricans.
- Experience insulin resistance.
Acanthosis nigricans is linked to genetic factors and can also manifest due to mutations in fibroblast growth. In certain cases, it serves as a symptom or warning sign of underlying conditions, such as diabetes.
Associated with Prediabetes and Diabetes
Darkened knuckles commonly occur in individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes, marked by higher-than-normal blood sugar levels.
Dermatologists emphasize that prediabetes often exhibits no visible symptoms, making darkened hand skin a potential warning sign. Early intervention through lifestyle modifications can aid in blood sugar regulation, preventing the progression of prediabetes to diabetes.
Resulting from Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
Occasionally, dark spots on the hand skin can indicate a deficiency in vitamin B-12. Other symptoms associated with vitamin B-12 deficiency include:
- Persistent fatigue.
- Shortness of breath.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
Adequate vitamin B-12 intake can help improve finger joint health.
Due to Medication Side Effects
Some individuals may develop darkened finger joints as a result of the side effects of certain medications. Common medications linked to this condition include:
- Birth control pills.
- Growth hormone therapy.
- Estrogen therapy.
- Protease inhibitors.
- Niacin and Nicotinic Acid.
- Injected insulin.
If you are taking any of these medications, consult your doctor about potential alternative options. Typically, the darkened hand skin fades after discontinuing the medication.
Linked to Dermatomyositis
Dermatomyositis, a rare inflammatory disease causing muscle weakness and skin rash, can manifest with a rash on the knuckles, face, chest, knees, and elbows.
The rash may appear bluish-purple or red, and it can occur even without any signs of muscle weakness.
Dermatomyositis predominantly affects children between 5 and 15 years old, as well as adults aged 50 to 60. Although no cure exists for this condition, its symptoms can be managed through appropriate treatment.
Linked to Addison’s Disease (Primary Adrenal Insufficiency)
Addison’s disease, a rare condition, arises when the adrenal glands fail to produce adequate steroid hormones, including cortisol and aldosterone.
Fatigue and skin darkening are common symptoms, with the darkened skin often appearing near scars or on the knuckles. Symptoms may vary, but darkened hand skin often serves as the initial sign.
This condition typically affects individuals between the ages of 30 and 50 and can be managed through medication aimed at symptom control.
Scleroderma, also known as systemic sclerosis, is a rare autoimmune disease characterized by an excess production of collagen, resulting in stiffer and tighter skin and connective tissues.
Red skin, including on the hands and knuckles, is among the symptoms associated with scleroderma.
This condition is often associated with Raynaud’s syndrome, typically manifesting as the initial symptom of scleroderma. Raynaud’s phenomenon involves the constriction of blood vessels in the fingers and toes, leading to skin discoloration (pale or bluish) and causing pain.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Another cause of darkened hands is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which occurs when women produce higher-than-normal levels of male hormones. Among the most prevalent symptoms is the darkening of the skin, particularly in areas with creases. PCOS can be managed through medication and lifestyle modifications, including weight loss and regular exercise.
Darkened knuckles may be indicative of an autoimmune disease, such as Sjögren’s syndrome or lupus.
Treating Darkened Hand Skin
In severe cases
For severe cases, darkened knuckles are often associated with an underlying health condition. Initial treatment typically involves a combination of medication and various forms of therapy, along with the adoption of a healthy lifestyle to aid in the improvement of this condition.
In cases where the darkened skin on the hands shows basic improvement, alternative methods can be considered, including home remedies, the use of over-the-counter medications, or prescription drugs. These approaches can effectively address hyperpigmentation on the skin of the hands.
Read more: NuBest White Review
For Minor Discoloration
Home Remedies for Treating Darkened Hand Skin
Some common techniques to help lighten the skin on the knuckles are:
Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water, and apply it to the knuckles for 15 to 20 minutes. Regularly apply lemon juice to the knuckles.
Additionally, it is essential to regularly moisturize the finger and hand joints. Moreover, remember to apply sunscreen when venturing outdoors to prevent skin damage and irritation caused by the sun and weather.
Use of Over-the-Counter Medications
Several products aid in the improvement of darkened hand skin. While they may be expensive, consistent long-term use is essential. Dermatologists suggest certain skin-friendly ingredients that help alleviate minor darkening, such as:
Soybean extract, which assists in skin lightening and preventing hyperpigmentation. Niacinamide, with effects similar to those of soybeans. Ellagic Acid, derived from strawberries, cherries, and pomegranates, with inhibitory effects on melanin-producing enzymes. Lignin peroxidase, an enzyme extracted from wood pulp fungi that aids in the breakdown of melanin pigment.
If other treatments prove ineffective, your doctor may recommend alternative medications. Commonly prescribed treatments for hyperpigmentation include:
Keratolytics, like topical retinoids. Topical medications containing vitamin D compounds. Oral melatonin. SMA-432. 4-n-butylresorcinol.
Consult your dermatologist to devise a treatment plan suitable for your needs, and be sure to inquire about potential side effects.
When to Consult a Doctor
It is advisable to consult your doctor if you notice darkening of your knuckles. Inform your doctor about any accompanying symptoms, such as fatigue, dizziness, or pain in the affected areas.
We trust that this article has provided valuable insights into darkened hand skin. By implementing scientific methods, you can expect to witness swift improvements. For more information on skincare concerns, feel free to explore our comprehensive collection of informative articles to address all your queries.
Johnny Jacks was born in 1985 in Texas, USA. He is the founder of Good Health Plan and is passionate about helping people improve their health and physical well-being. With over a decade of experience working in the healthcare industry, he currently works at Goodheathplan.com – a blog that shares knowledge on beauty and health.