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Acute bilateral hand edema and vesiculation

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Environmental history exposed the diagnosis.


 

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A 27-year-old man presented to the urgent care clinic with acute bilateral hand swelling, blisters, numbness, and pain. History taking revealed that these symptoms developed after he was locked outside of his apartment for 45 minutes in –22°C (–8°F) weather following a night of heavy drinking.

Palmar erythema with acrocyanosis

On physical examination, the patient had a temperature of 36.2°C (97.2°F) and a heart rate of 116 beats/min. He had edema, tenderness, decreased sensation, and distal cyanosis involving all of his fingers (FIGURE 1). He also had large, tense, clear bullae over the dorsal aspect of his fingers (FIGURE 2).

Bilateral large, tense, and clear bullae IMAGE COURTESY OF MORTEZA KHODAEE, MD, MPH

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