Claw Hand Overview: The Facts
What is Claw Hand?
Claw hand is a condition where the skin on your hands and fingers becomes abnormally thickened and hard. It may appear anywhere from mild to severe. Sometimes it appears only on one or two fingers, but other times it affects several digits. Some people with claw hand have no symptoms at all; others experience pain when they touch their affected areas.
How common is claw hand?
Claw hand occurs in 1 out of every 100 people. Most people with this condition do not notice any changes in their hands or fingers until they develop arthritis later in life. However, some individuals will develop signs and symptoms early on such as numbness, tingling, burning sensations or even muscle weakness. Other individuals may not show any symptoms at all and never get sick at all!
Is there anything I can do to prevent my children from getting claw hand?
There is currently no known way to prevent your child from developing claw hand. If you suspect your child might have claw hand, talk with him/her’s doctor about taking appropriate precautions such as wearing gloves while handling hot objects or using plastic utensils. Also make sure that he/she eats well and gets enough rest so that their immune systems are strong.
What if I think I have claw hand?
If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms described above (or the ones listed below), visit your doctor immediately. He or she can run tests in order to determine whether or not you have claw hand. While there is no cure for claw hand, treatment for this condition focuses on relieving pain and any other symptoms that you might be experiencing. Also, be sure to get enough rest and eat a healthy diet. This can help your body fight off any infection or illness.
What are the signs and symptoms of Claw Hand?
At the beginning stages of claw hand, most people won’t experience any signs or symptoms. In fact, you may not have any issues for several years. Once the condition does start to affect you, the most common sign is a loss of dexterity and flexibility in your fingers. You might feel like you have permanent stiffness in your joints. It may feel like you have a glove or mitten on your hand that you cannot get off. Other signs and symptoms you may experience are:
Pain in your fingers
Difficulty bending your fingers
Numbness or tingling in your fingers
Burning sensations in your fingers
Muscle weakness in your hand or arm muscles
How is claw hand diagnosed?
Claw hand’s signs and symptoms can resemble those of other conditions. Your doctor can usually tell whether you have claw hand or another condition after a physical examination. In some instances, additional testing such as a biopsy may be necessary.
What is the treatment for claw hand?
In most cases, there is no known cure for claw hand. Treatment mainly consists of relieving pain and other distressing signs and symptoms. The most common treatment options include:
Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Immune system suppressors to ease symptoms such as pain and burning sensations.
Skin grafts or other procedures to repair injuries to the skin of the hand.
Surgery to remove damaged tissue, though this can lead to loss of feeling in the hand.
In some cases, a peripheral nerve transplant may be suggested.
Sources & references used in this article:
Lobster-claw hand: A manifestation of EEC syndrome by MJ Cyriac, E Lashpa – Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology …, 2006 – ijmpo.org
Financial Market Meltdown: Everything You Need to Know to Understand and Survive the Global Credit Crisis by JM Martin – 2000 – Harmony
A claw is like my hand: Comparison supports goal analysis in infants by K Mellyn – 2009 – books.google.com
All you need to know about music & the internet revolution by SA Gerson, AL Woodward – Cognition, 2012 – Elsevier
Working Hand in Claw by C Mewton – 2010 – books.google.com
The Treatment of the Claw-Hand in Leprosy. by M Sears, P Sears, W Sears, RW Sears, J Sears – 2011 – Little, Brown Spark
Breakpoint: Why the web will implode, search will be obsolete, and everything else you need to know about technology is in your brain by W Poundstone – 2012 – Little, Brown Spark