A systemic disease is a disease that affects other parts of the body, or even the whole body. The hands are complex. They are composed of many types of tissue including blood vessels, nerves, skin and skin-related tissues, bones, and muscles/tendons/ligaments. Because of this complexity, the hands may suffer from side effects of systemic diseases. Here are some examples that may affect the hand:
1. Arthritic Swelling: Swelling of the middle joint of a finger is called a Bouchard’s node, and swelling at the small finger joints are called Heberden’s nodes.
2. Dactylitis: Dactylitis can sometimes be associated with psoriatic arthritis. It can cause swelling and stiffness in the fingers. There also may be pain. This swelling may be improved with medicines for the problem causing it.
3. Mucous Cyst: With a mucous cyst, if the skin becomes thin, the cyst may break resulting in drainage of a clear sticky fluid. This may allow bacteria to reach the nearby joint, causing a joint or bone infection.