Itchy red bumps on the fingers can have several causes.
Regardless of cause, the No. 1 rule is that you should avoid scratching, as this can make the condition worse.
One possible cause, believe it or not, is warts.
Warts are “a viral condition you pick up from the environment,” says Gary Goldenberg, MD, of Goldenberg Dermatology, and assistant professor of dermatology and pathology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
The viral infection is located in the top layer of the skin. The viruses are of the HPV type and can get into the skin via a little scratch. The cells grow rapidly, forming a wart – which can itch.
But warts typically will not grow in clusters all over your fingers. Other conditions can.
Dr. Goldernberg continues, “Papular (bumpy) eczema can also cause red bumps on the hands and is usually treated with topical creams.”
Eczema will itch worse than a few warts. The last thing you’ll want to do is get into a scratching frenzy.
Scratching at eczema can cause the area to crust and even ooze.
Your dermatologist will prescribe the right medication to treat this common condition, which can also occur on the elbows and make them itch like mad.
If the itching is driving you batty, you can gently wrap gauze around your fingers overnight or while you’re watching TV or any activity during which you are not using your fingers too much.
Dr. Goldenberg continues, “Bites can occur on the hands, and can be caused by mosquitos or bed bugs – see your dermatologist for tests to rule this one out.”
Bottom line: You certainly do not have to worry about a serious disease causing red bumps to be scattered all over your fingers or hands, no matter how badly they itch.
But remember: Avoid scratching and instead see a dermatologist for proper treatment.
Dr. Goldenberg of Goldenberg Dermatology provides comprehensive care in medical and cosmetic dermatology, including melanoma and other skin cancer, moles, psoriasis, eczema and acne. He is the medical director of the Dermatology Faculty Practice, NY.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.