Signs and symptoms

Teaser hand

Get a grip of the symptoms

Dupuytren‘s disease is a progressive condition, meaning that it can worsen over time, and affects the connective tissue in the palm of the hand and the fingers. Connective tissue is needed to give strength and firmness to tissues and organs in our body.

Dupuytren's disease can gradually advance into Dupuytren‘s contracture, one of the potential symptoms of Dupuytren‘s disease, where the affected finger or fingers permanently bend inwards into the palm of the hand. Approximately 25% of people with the disease will go on to develop these contractures.1-3

Dupuytren‘s disease starts with a build-up of cells in the palm of the hand which leads to small lumps appearing under the skin. These lumps are benign and usually painless. If the disease progresses, collagen is produced, a natural protein that is found in many tissues in our body. As more collagen continues to build up, it may eventually form into a rope-like cord under the skin. The cord extends from the palm into the finger.1

Gradually – as the cord tightens – it pulls the finger permanently toward the palm. The shape of the cord can sometimes be seen under the skin when trying to stretch out the affected finger. This bend in the finger is called a contracture and can reduce your ability to move and straighten your finger.1

If you:
– have trouble straightening your fingers or palm
– feel the skin of your palm becoming thick
– feel small lumps underneath the skin in the palm of your hand
– notice pitting – small, but deep indentations of the skin

Talk to your doctor.


  1. Townley WA et al. BMJ. 2006;332:397–400.
  2. Gudmundsen KG et al. J Clin Epidemiol. 2000;291-296.
  3. Crean SM et al. J Hand Surg 2011;36E(5) 396–407.