Small, "tapioca like" bumps on finger...

Small, "tapioca like" bumps on fingers and palms

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Dacula, GA

#1 Aug 5, 2007
Hello all,
I've had a huge number of small and mildly itchy bumps develop under the skin of my palms and fingers over the last few days. I've done some research and taken photographs of them. Here is what I can say about the condition. I'm looking for feedback and advice. A dermatologist prescribed a topical steroid that worked very well last time this happened to me, though this seems slightly different.


* Small, slightly raised bumps under skin all over palms, sides of fingers. Some on tops of fingers, but not as pronounced
* "Tapioca bumps": One web site described list of symptoms as "tapioca like bumps": good approximation to mine!
* If clenching fist, fingers feel as if wearing gloves too tight; skin feels like plastic leather
* Feels very tense, not unbearable, to shape hand for utensils for eating.
* Tingling feeling in hands where bumps are, though I am not scratching it too much.
* Not a great amount of discoloration; slightly yellowized, barely noticeable.


Here are some scans (my digital camera is broken). They do not seem to capture the texture well.

Hand9.jpg shows difference between left and right middle fingers better than other scans.
Left finger relatively smooth on side, while the right completely bump-marked.
An adjusted version to highlight the bumps more is here:

Hand8.jpg shows fingers spread apart.Bump pattern visible here:

In Hand7: hard to really see texture, but pinky on the far left is relatively free of bumps; compare to the rest:

On the inside of index finger in this, can slightly see bumps, but not a great image:

In hand4.jpg, see bumps along the inside of curved fingers:
Adjusted version draws out bump pattern:

Hand2.jpg is decent:


I read a lot on line and it doesn't look exactly like pictures I've seen,
But it seems likely to be "dyshidrotic eczema".
Last time I had something like this a dermatologist prescribed a topical steroid that worked well.
This was more than a year ago.

Comparable Images

The pictures I took look similar to these, as best as I can tell:

There is as of yet, very little discoloration of the skin, just bumps. According to sites linked below, it is not contagious, but is very ugly
and disconcerting to others. Possible causes:

* anxiety
* bacterial infection
* certain skin infections
* difficulty expressing feelings or emotions
* hot or cold temperatures
* increased humidity
* personal or family history of asthma, sinusitis, or hay fever
* recent immunoglobulin therapy
* seasonal changes
* stress


There is definitely an increase of heat right now in Atlanta, and a lot of stress lately over a big job change decision that I just finally made on Friday, plus a recent death in my family. This has happened two or three times before, and now that I think about, nearly all times have been during summer weather and during times of extreme anxiety or stress. As for itching, they just tingle a lot right now. They don't really itch that much, or I ignore it and try not to scratch it.

Resource Sites:

Any feedback much appreciated!

Thank you,





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Sacramento, CA

#2 Aug 11, 2007
Wow....I think I have the same thing. But I don't know what to do about it. I thought it was a wart when I first saw the bumps, so I bought some over the counter wart remover. Than I realized that it wasn't that because it started to look more like a rash, without the redness. I only have it inbetween my finger, not on my palms. And yeah it's just discomforting, not unbearable itchiness. Mainly, it's just really annoying. What have you used to get rid of it? I started putting hydrocortizone on it, but hasn't helped much. I was also thinking it could be some kind of fungus, similar to athlete's foot, so I used that cream. Not helping much.

I've noticed the little bumps have been here for about a week now. How long was it till they went away the last time that you got them?





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Toronto, Canada

#3 Mar 18, 2008
I get the same problems
I went to a doctor a few months ago and it is a form of eczema. Which again is caused by
* anxiety
* bacterial infection
* certain skin infections
* difficulty expressing feelings or emotions
* hot or cold temperatures
* increased humidity
* personal or family history of asthma, sinusitis, or hay fever
* recent immunoglobulin therapy
* seasonal changes
* stress

Stress is what usually get it to come on my hands, along wit allergies.
If I drink lots of water, it starts to clear up.
Steriod creams don't help as much as they do my other eczema on the rest of my body.





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Wales, WI

#4 Apr 21, 2008
I have the same issue. I only get it during the spring/summer, but I get them on my fingers, palms, and arms too. As soon as I feel the "itch" come on, I rinse my hands in ice cold water. It seems to help.
Kymber Waukesha WI

Nashotah, WI

#5 Jun 6, 2008
Can someone recommend something over the counter? I don't have insurance currently and this is driving me crazy! I have tried vaseline at night, cortizone creme and it is the same. Thanks

Montgomery Village, MD

#6 Jul 8, 2008
I have this, too .. I think...I am starting to get them on my hands & it's July - BUT I usually get them during the fall/winter & most especially on my toes. 2 years ago, I got them on one of my hands, and it's back on that same hand. It skipped a year on my toes, and skipped a year on my hands. Both times I've had them horribly on my toes, I was weaning my children,(and wearing flip-flops). Both times the bumps appeared in October & the got worse as the winter set in (maybe it's my socks? But why, then, did it start in flops?). The fall/winter season that I had no occurrence, I was pregnant with my daughter. I thought that maybe it was a hormonal trigger or a hormonal reprieve, but now they seem to be back & on my hands (and I'm not "in a family way" or weaning).
Hydrocort. cream did nothing. Moisturizing with cocoa butter, shea butter, or anything else I could think of did nothing. Constant cleaning with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide did nothing. I tried neosporin & nothing. I tried allergy medication to no effect. Sometimes the bumps itch, sometimes they don't. They have turned my feet purple, but they have never crusted over or joined to form patches. Some of them appear to have a tiny gray prick of a center, while others don't.


#7 Jul 22, 2008
Yeah I have the same thing... doing some research I think it might be Psoriasis

Check out the below URL for more info.

Josh, I have the same symptoms and judging by the photos we have a case of Pustular psoriasis..

"Pustular psoriasis. The typical symptoms of pustular psoriasis are pus-filled blisters on the skin. The blisters usually dry up, turn brown, become scaly, and peel off. The lesions usually occur on the hands and feet and are primarily seen in adults."

Check out the link above for more information and possible treatments.

Vista, CA

#8 Jul 23, 2008
Hey Josh,

I usually get those exact same bumps after having one or two alcoholic beverages. For me, I think it's an allergic reaction to alcohol which usually starts after five or six hours after consumption and it last for about two days and the bumps start to fade away. But I understand the frustration and the numb, needle pitching sensation that occurs. that's about the only time when I get those bumps whenever I drink. And it is not a reddish skin irritation, the bumps are clear and I do have that yellowish (barely) tint to them. anyhow, I have also been searching and asking but haven't gotten any answers. I just avoid alcohol, or make predictions to my friends about how my hands would look like the next day. They think its strange! Good luck.


#9 Jul 23, 2008
I have those too! Often they come and go and look like very small itchy blisters. I get them between my toes and sometimes fingers. I typed in my symptoms on google and found a numerous amount of reaserchable information that pretty much confirmed it is a fungal infection. I didnt believe it at first, because im a pretty hygenic person, but then after I thought about it for awhile realized I only get them whenever I do activities such as run around barefoot (which i love to do cause shoes are overated lol) and visit my local lake...they only really occur on myself during summer and spring seasons...when im running around more outside and doing more activities. Ive never really had to do anything with them except for make sure that I do not itch them (even though they are exceptionally an inconvinience) and they usually go away. If i have ever itched them they do not spread they however do get worse and more painful at the host site. So whatever you do DO NOT ITCH! I havent gotten them on my fingers in quite sometimes...but when I did i usually had a job in the fast food or retail industry where you deal with lots of money, hands, merchandise exchanges and bacteria. I now only get them on my toes...when im being a shoeless rebel. If they get bad use lamisil and hydrocorzine creams. That will cure them up and keep them from being itchy. That should help cure it up.

Republic, WA

#10 Jul 27, 2008
I get similar bumbs on the sides of my fingers. They do not cause much of an itch but it is noticable. I have narrowed it down to The ingredients in Dr. Bronners soaps. When I was younger I used Dr. B's peppermint liquid soap for soap and shampoo. I noticed these bumps after using it for a couple months. I discontinued using it years ago and the bumps went away almost immediately after I quit using it. I was young in my twenties and didn't think much about it. RECENTLY I was at a health food store and decided to get some of Dr. B's peppermint and almond soaps - THE SOAPS ARE WONDERFULLY SCENTED and HEALTHY - HOWEVER, After about a month of useage the bumps started appearing on the sides of my fingers again. Now I am sure that is what the cause is was - I think it is the palm oil or coconut oil used in making the soap. After I quit using the soap the top surface of the the skin on my fingers drys out and peels off. -Check any products you are using to see if they contain palm or coconut oils - I think one of these are the ingredients causing this reaction.

Farmingdale, NY

#11 Aug 24, 2008
Dear Josh: I had been looking on the internet for wks trying to figure out what was going on with my hands when I happened upon your article. Thank you! I have been worrying myself sick not knowing what this "thing" was. The more I read, the more convinced I became that what you were describing was exactly what I had, especially after reading that one of the possible causes is immunoglobulin therapy. I have severe rheumatoid arthritis and had recently started a new med, administered intravenously. After the first i.v. was when I noticed the bumps. I'm off to my doctor's office tomorrow morning to make sure we're on the right track and start whatever treatment is necessary. I'll be sure to post what my doctor tells me as soon as I can. Thank you again for your insight.
me too

Bellevue, MI

#12 Aug 30, 2008
It seems that mine appear in the summer and spring. At first, I thought they were some type of insect bite from digging in the mulch. Mine only appear on the sides of my fingers. Sometimes, this coincides with a couple of pimples on my face or shoulders. I also have had occasional shingles (related to the nervous system). As I am a teacher, they tend to appear when school starts again (stress and anxiety). These are the things that really seem to help: B12, l-lysine, vitamin C, real aloe applied to the area. Good luck my fellow bumpy people.

United States

#13 Sep 20, 2008
Kymber Waukesha WI wrote:
Can someone recommend something over the counter? I don't have insurance currently and this is driving me crazy! I have tried vaseline at night, cortizone creme and it is the same. Thanks
My husband recently had a bought with this strange itchy/bumpy palm. He went to the doctors and the doctor put him on a steriod orally and topically. I told my husband I didn't think anything of all of the ingestion of the steriods but he was itching sooo bad he started with the steriod topical cream and he said it was getting worse. I thought about Tea Tree Oil that I had used before for a fungal infection on my daughter. I put several drops of it in his hands he rubbed it in and the itching subsided. The bumps are also going away just slowly. Acts like a fungal infection. Hope this helps. God Bless

Prince Albert, Canada

#14 Sep 30, 2008
this is the most inoying thing that has happen to me

Knoxville, TN

#15 Oct 7, 2008
I am 57 and I've had this problem off and on during my whole adult life. It is really annoying and I've researched it also and never came up with a definitive diagnosis, but I believe it is allergy related. Mine is typically on my right palm and fingers/thumbs on both hands.

There is no product I've found that cures the problem. They just finally dry up, turn a bit brownish in color and fade away into oblivion.

Aside from my allergy theory, it could also be stress in my case....either/or.

Maybe there is some comfort in knowing that you are not alone - and that although annoying, it does go away. The only thing I've found that helps with severe itching is a cold pak - you might also try benedryl - it is prescribed for itching caused by allergy.

Topanga, CA

#16 Nov 6, 2008
I had a difficult relationship with a girl when I was thirty and soon thereafter blisters appeared only on my index finger 4-5 times a year. Days later it would dry up and crack. I would treat it with bag balm with moderate success. Working with chemicals and my koi pond would bring the condition on as would stress. I did notice that Fish oil at 5,000mg a day would prevent it almost altogether as long as I kept my hands out of pond water. I reduced my fish oil to include mainly DHA, started career hunting again and the stress brought on larger blisters on my palms and wrist (1 blister) for the first time as of four days ago. Today I just soaked the area on my palm with hydrogen peroxide and then applied fresh aloe from our plant. It tightened the skin and looks like it has had a positive effect on the rash although my skin feels "taught". I will now apply a subtle moisturizer and start retaking larger doses of good fish oil with EPA content as well. This really seems to be stress related.

Denver, CO

#17 Nov 6, 2008
My computer wont let me look at the photos, but this sounds like the same thing that i've had for about 4 years now, only in the winter time, staring in october.. IM sooo sick and emmbarresed of this. Is there any way someone could email me pics of this?

Denver, CO

#18 Nov 6, 2008
Also mine gets bumpy and itchy, then it cracks and dries and peels off in large yellow chunks.. Its painfull and embarrasing.. Is it contagious? My husband is scared for me to touch him whenever this happens. Im horrified..

Santa Clara, CA

#19 Nov 12, 2008
Kymber Waukesha WI wrote:
Can someone recommend something over the counter? I don't have insurance currently and this is driving me crazy! I have tried vaseline at night, cortizone creme and it is the same. Thanks
Soaking my hands in vinegar & water helps me a lot. Just use half vinegar & half water and a couple of times a day. Cold water also helps me.

Santa Clara, CA

#20 Nov 12, 2008
Hi there- I get tiny bumps on my fingers & side of palm. I use vinegar & water to help get rid of them. Just use half & half of each and soak for 15 minutes. Use cold water and soak again that night if it's bad enough. Afterwards, all the bumps turn white then they dry & start to clear up. Then I use lots of lotion.

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