Alright, this is going to be a long read. I am a 20 year old male who has had episodes of my hands turning red since (as far as I could remember having this condition) I was 15ish (high-school). To give you guys information of what I think causes my hands to turn red, I find that stress, heat, and physical exertion makes my hands turn red. The various ways I found help with alleviating the redness is by raising my arms, cooling my hands, and calming down. I should also mention that I sometimes find light purple-blue splotches on my hands when I’m in cold weather (however, my earliest memory of my hands turning blue was when I was 14ish in middle-school). If all-the-above is applicable to you, I want to ask if you remember cracking your knuckles habitually before the red hands occurred? I mention cracking knuckles because I remember reading about how cracking knuckles was once believed to cause arthritis in the joints of people who cracked their knuckles. I’ve also found a source (https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/knuckle-cracking-annoying-and-harmful-or-just-annoying-2018051413797) that seems to have debunked this myth. Of course, I know arthritis could be different from the condition we’re suffering, but still, we know science is not perfect, and it’s worth asking. Another thing I like to ask you guys is have you guys taken cold showers before you found your hands turning red? I know that cold showers help remove the redness, but I can’t help but to think that cold showers may have caused my Erythromelalgia because I know that I didn’t start taking cold showers until freshman year of high-school, which is also the same time I remember first having red hands. Please answer these questions, and if you have different suspicions of what makes your hands turn red please tell us whether it’s an allergen, underlying disease, or a crappy diet. Also, check out this link and tell me if it also applies to you. https://www.mdedge.com/ccjm/article/95741/pain/painful-red-hands-and-feet
cracking knuckles – or any joint for that matter – has nothing to do with arthritis and more to do with loose ligaments (a condition I happen to have)… can it aggravate the joint over a life time? sure. joints aren’t supposed to “crack” but it’s not disease state, it’s a body state.
Your symptoms sound like a combo of Reynauds and EM. Your EM started in your teens, mine started in my 6th decade of life, and for some it begins as a young infant or child. My belief, from the research I have done, is that EM is a neurovascular disease where the sodium channels (responsible for the sensation of burning pain) tend to be impaired. Although I know spicy food or alcohol can cause a worsening for me, I don’t think a “crappy diet” is a cause, and I don’t think cold showers cause it, though cold water does calm down the redness and pain for me. I have no arthritis or cracking knuckles. Yes, elevating the extremity helps as it drains the trapped blood from the small blood vessels away from the hot swollen site. Exercise and heat are triggers for many of us with EM.
Keep searching for what helps you, and beware quack cures.
Hopefully you can find the support and answers you seek. We are all here for each other.