Also called 'Heloderma', knuckle pads can be defined as “keratotic, circumscribed, fibrous growths over the dorsal of the interphalangeal joints.”
The condition is described as plaque-like, round, fibrous, well-defined thickening that may begin to develop at any age. It can grow to be 1up to 15mm in diameter.
It usually takes a few months to worsen and may disappear over time.
There still isn’t much known about the situation as it’s still new but scientists have found a direct connection between knuckle pads and Dupuytren's Contracture.
Some patients with Dupuytren's contracture may end up with localized hard areas under the skin dorsal to the finger joints. In some cases, these may be fixed to the underlying extensor mechanism or the skin. However, that is said to happen in rare cases.
Most users have normal or thin skin but some may end up with wrinkled skin. Doctors tend to believe that patents with Dupuytren's contracture run a higher risk of having knuckle pads, which is why it is also often referred to as dorsal Dupuytren nodules.
This makes it easier to tell this apart from similar skin conditions including simple callus and dorsal cutaneous pads.
More About Knuckle Pads
As mentioned earlier, there isn’t much known about knuckle pads or why they occur. Here is a little more information on the condition and its link to Dupuytren's disease:
We must mention that the condition (knuckle pads) is not exclusive to those suffering from Dupuytren's disease. You may develop the condition even if you do not have Dupuytren's contracture. However, those suffering from Dupuytren's contracture are said to be four times four times more likely to report the condition.
In addition to this, remember that the presence of knuckle pads doesn’t imply a more aggressive Dupuytren's disease.