Q:

Why do hands swell?

A:

Quick Answer

Injury, trauma, certain infections and inflammatory conditions can cause hands to swell, according to Healthgrades. Certain medical conditions and medications, including steroids, can cause hand swelling as well. Pregnancy and premenstrual syndrome may cause fluid retention in parts of the body, leading to hand swelling.

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Full Answer

Blunt trauma, deep cuts and repetitive stress on the hand may lead to injury, causing hands to swell, notes Healthgrades. Bone, cartilage, muscle and ligament injury can result in hand swelling. Medications for hypertension and diabetes, and the use of hormones to treat medical conditions may lead to hand swelling. Antidepressants, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors, can also cause hands to swell.

Ganglion cyst, which results in swelling of areas near joints and tendons, and bursitis are inflammatory conditions that can cause hand swelling, states Healthgrades. Bacterial infection, including Staphylococcus aureus infection, and cellulitis can also lead to the problem. Septic arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause swelling and inflammation of the hands. Kawasaki disease, which is a condition that inflames blood vessels, can induce swelling as well.

Other causes of hand swelling include preeclampsia (a pregnancy complication), underactive thyroid gland, excess weight and low levels of sodium in the body, according to Healthgrades. Symptoms that may accompany hand swelling include wrist swelling, stiffness, fatigue, hand weakness and tingling. If left untreated, depending on the underlying cause, swelling may extend to other body parts or lead to amputation, hand deformity or chronic disability.

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