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Erythema Palmare hereditarium (red palms): Lane's disease

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Erythema Palmare hereditarium (red palms): Lane's disease
Deba P Sarma MD, Bo Wang MD
Dermatology Online Journal 13 (2): 28

Department of Pathology, Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, NE

Figure 1

The picture is that of the palms of a 44-year old man of Chinese heritage who had had red hands since birth. His 74-year-old mother and his 7-year-old daughter also had bright red palms all their life. The condition has been totally asymptomatic. The patient uses moisturizing hand lotions frequently for dryness. There is no hyperhidrosis, hyperkeratosis, or any scaling. No erythema is noted on the plantar surfaces or on the skin of any other part of the body. The palmar skin is bright red that sharply ends at the wrist and at the sides of the hands. Pressure on the palmar skin easily blanches the redness into white or pale red. The patient is free from any systemic or dermatologic disease.

Dr. John E Lane gave the name 'Erythema Palmare Hereditarium (Red Palms) to this condition in 1929 when he described two men with red palms [1]. The first patient aged 51 and one of his two sisters had red palms all their life. The other patient, a 69-year-old man, one of his sisters, and his father had the same condition.

A PubMed search for English literature on this topic yielded no article. Several articles written in French, Italian, and German were uncovered. One author described the bright erythema of the palms in a woman since birth and traced the condition over three generations [2].


1. Lane JE. Erythema palmare hereditarium. Arch Derm Syph. 1929; 445-448.

2. Rupec RA, Wolff H, Lindner A, Kind P. Erythema palmare hereditarium ( "red palms"). Hautarzt. 2000; 264-265.

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