Hands come in all different shapes and sizes. The average length of an adult male’s hand is 7.6 inches — measured from the tip of the longest finger to the crease under the palm. The average length of an adult female’s hand is 6.8 inches. However, there’s more to hand size than length. 1

Types of hands

Metal Hand

People with these hands have square palms, fingers and nails; white, dewy, fleshy and  elastic palm.

Wood Hand

People with these hands have oblong hands with long fingers, well-defined knuckles, and tough thumbs difficult to bend.


Water Hand

People with these hands have wide, plump and smooth palms with stubby fingers, round fingertips and long nails.

Fire Hand

People with these hands have long palms and fingers, ill-defined knuckles and ruddy nails.

Earth Hand

People with these hands have thick palms and fingers, large wrists, coarse skin and palm print, thick muscle at the thumb base. 2

Small and big hands

Healthcare providers use three criteria to measure a person’s hand. They are:

Length: This is the distance from the wrist to the tip of the longest finger

Breadth: This is the measurement across the widest part of the hand

Circumference: This is the measurement around the palm, just below the knuckles, and excluding the thumb

Typically, males have larger hands than females. This variation corresponds with differences in overall body size between the two sexes. 3

Crooked fingers

There are people who have a pinky finger that turns inward toward the fourth or ring finger. Some people with this condition do have crooked bones, but the finger still appears straight like a normal finger. A crooked little finger is also known as, clinodactyly. A crooked little finger can be caused by a few different things. The root cause is contractions of the tendons and ligaments that are supposed to make it straight. This can happen in the womb during development or during childhood. Another cause is actual misaligned growth plates in the bones causing abnormal bone growth. A crooked little finger that is mostly functional and doesn’t affect use of the hand and fingers is considered mild. The majority of cases are not severe enough to be considered serious. 4

Factors that can lead to crooked fingers:

  • Genetics
  • Injury
  • Sign of other conditions like Down’s, Autism or Mohr
  • Abnormal Growth Plates

Nail biting

Nail biting can include biting the nail, the cuticle, and tissue around the nail. Most nail biters don’t develop long-term damage, but it can happen. There’s a spectrum of nail biting. It can range from an occasional benign behavior to a deeply ingrained self-mutilative behavior.

Reasons why people bite their nails:

  • Impatience, frustation, boredom
  • Concentration
  • Stress, anxiety
  • Emotional or psychological problem

When to see a doctor:

  • Ingrown nails
  • Skin or nail infection
  • Nail discoloration
  • Curled nails
  • Bleeding around the nails
  • Swelling or pain aroung the nails
  • Nails that have stopped growing
  • Thinning or thickening of the nails
  • Nails seperation from surrounding skin 5

Sweaty hands

Excessive, uncontrollable sweating of the hands or palms, is called palmar hyperhidrosis. This medical condition is an extremely stressful, embarrassing, and confidence-wrecking problem. From ruined paperwork to slippery handshakes, sweaty palms can negatively impact your social life, education, and career. 6

If you have frequent sweaty hands or excessive sweating in other parts of your body that is not caused by higher temperatures, you may have hyperhidrosis. This is a condition marked by sweating for no apparent reason.  Some people shrug off mild hand sweating as a minor concern. Although this condition doesn’t always indicate a serious problem and may run in families, excessive sweating is sometimes a symptom of an underlying condition, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Menopause / hot flashes
  • Low blood sugar
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Heart attack
  • Nervous system problems
  • Infections 7
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