Why Do I Have Little Bumps on the Back of My Hands?

Medically Reviewed on 11/22/2022
Why Do I Have Little Bumps on the Back of My Hands
Small bumps on the back of your hands could be a sign of keratosis pilaris or eczema

Little bumps on the back of your hands can be caused by a wide variety of conditions, including keratosis pilaris, atopic dermatitis, and other skin problems. Most causes of bumps or rashes on the skin are harmless and can be treated easily.

Although sometimes raised bumps on the skin can look like acne, acne typically does not affect the backs of the hands and is mostly seen on the face, chest, and back. 

Learn about the most common causes of bumps on the back of the hands.

5 common causes of bumps on the back of the hands

1. Keratosis pilaris

Also known as chicken skin, keratosis pilaris is a benign skin condition that causes tiny red, brown, or white painless bumps on the skin around hair follicles. These bumps are commonly seen on arms, thighs, cheeks, and buttocks but can be seen in any other part of the body where hair follicles are present.

The bumps contain excess keratin (a protein that helps form hair, nails, and the outer layer of skin) and are usually painless and not itchy 

Keratosis pilaris cannot be cured or prevented but can be treated by using moisturizers, medicated creams, and laser therapy. Home remedies, such as the application of diluted apple cider vinegar or coconut oil, may also help reduce the appearance of keratosis pilaris.

2. Atopic dermatitis

Also known as eczema, atopic dermatitis is commonly seen in children but can affect any age group. Almost 15%-20% of children and 1%-3% of adults are affected by atopic dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis can cause tiny, red, itchy bumps on the face and hands. People with atopic dermatitis are at increased risk of developing food allergies, hay fever, and asthma.

Although scratching the little bumps may provide temporary relief, it can worsen the condition and even cause an infection. Medicated ointments, creams, proper skincare, and moisturizers may help relieve itching and prevent flare-ups.

3. Dyshidrosis

Dyshidrosis is a skin condition where small, fluid-filled bumps appear on the hands, sides of the fingers, and sometimes on the feet. The little bumps cause severe itching and last about 3 weeks. Once the lesions are dried up, the skin on the affected areas appears dry. 

There is a high risk of recurrence of the blisters, sometimes even before the complete healing of the previous blisters. In severe cases, the blisters merge together, forming a painful and itchy patch. These bumps are commonly seen in people in the age group of 20-40 years. 

When the lesions are mild, medicated ointments, creams, and moisturizers will help with the symptoms. However, in severe cases, corticosteroid pills may be recommended by your doctor.

4. Ganglion cysts

Ganglion cysts are noncancerous little round or oval bumps that occur mostly on joints of hands, wrists, and fingers. Sometimes these cysts can also occur in the knees and feet.

Small ganglion cysts are pea-sized, whereas the larger ones are round and are about 2.5 cm. The cysts are filled with a jelly-like fluid. They may be painless or cause pain when they press on the nearby nerve and can sometimes interfere with joint movements.

Ganglion cysts typically do not cause any discomfort. However, if they cause severe pain or discomfort, surgical removal of the cyst may be recommended.

5. Warts

Warts are noncancerous skin growths that may occur on various sites, including the hands and fingers. They can develop due to exposure to human papillomavirus

Warts are flesh-colored, feel uneven when touched, and are highly contagious. Warts can go away on their own, although some may take many months to go away.

Treatment of warts includes the use of over-the-counter wart removal creams, freezing warts using cryotherapy, topical creams, immunotherapy, and laser treatments.

How can you maintain healthy skin on your hands?

The following are ways you can help maintain the health of the skin on your hands:

  • Wash your hands with a mild handwash.
  • Moisturize your hands after washing.
  • Stay well hydrated.
  • Avoid sharing personal care products with others, such as towels and razors.
  • Maintain a safe distance from people who have an infection.
Medically Reviewed on 11/22/2022
Image Source: Getty image