What are the Causes of Palmer Erythema in Pregnancy?


Pregnancy results in a number of physical and physicochemical changes in a woman’s body. One of the common side effects of being pregnant is the occurrence of palmar erythema. This is a skin related condition in which the palms appear red. The redness is caused because of the dilation of blood vessels present on the hands. This is also referred to as red palms or liver palms disease.

Palmar Erythema During Pregnancy

Common symptoms

  • The obvious sign of palmar erythema is the appearance of red dotted rashes on the palms.
  • Both the palms are affected by this condition.
  • Your palms may feel warmer than the rest of the hand.
  • There is no pain or discomfort. Although some women may feel slightly itchy.
  • Mostly the heels of the palms are affected, but in some cases, the redness may spread to fingers and nails as well.
  • In some cases, the soles of the feet may also become red.
  • When you press on the palms, the redness becomes pale.
  • The severity of redness depends on other factors such as mood, physical activity and body temperature of the affected person.

What causes palmar erythema?

In pregnancy, numerous hormonal changes take place, which lead to different skin conditions including palmar erythema. The surge in estrogen levels is usually attributed to this condition. Almost 30% of pregnant women are said to be affected with palmar erythema.

This condition usually only lasts as long as you are pregnant and resolves on its own without causing any other issues after delivery. If it is pregnancy related, this condition is known as primary palmar erythema, as it is not caused because of another condition and only physical symptoms can be seen.

Other causes

  • Palmar erythema may also be a result of an underlying condition such as liver disease.
  • Genetics may also cause this condition.
  • It may be caused due to bacterial or viral infections.
  • This may be related to a skin condition.
  • It may be caused due an underlying medical condition such as autoimmune disease, endocrine condition or diabetes.

If you are affected by palmar erythema, it is better to get evaluated by your doctor, in order to rule out any underlying problem.


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