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Proliferative Phase of Dupuytren's Contracture Dissected

July 28, 2020 1 Comment

Dupuytren’s Contracture is the appearance of nodules or curling of the fingers inwards towards the palm. This occurs due to changes that take place under the skin of the palm. 

What begins as an appearance of a small bump in the palm gradually grows into what is called a contracture. 

Difference Between a Contracture and Dupuytren’s Contracture

The main difference between a normal contracture and Dupuytren’s Contracture comes down to the location where the contracture develops in the body.

In medical terms, a contracture is the tightening of muscles or tendons of any part of the body. Dupuytren’s contracture, on the other hand, is the tightening of muscles of the palm specifically.  

Some people consider Dupuytren’s Contracture to first develop in the fingers. This is incorrect. The first affected area of any individual is the palm. When left untreated, the disease progresses and starts to affect the fingers as well.

Progression of Dupuytren’s Contracture

Similar to some other diseases, Dupuytren’s progresses with time. Its rate of progression is slow, but can still cause problems if it is not stopped in time. 

Research has revealed three phases of Dupuytren’s Contracture:

  1. Proliferative Phase
  2. Involutional Phase
  3. Residual Phase

Proliferative Phase of Dupuytren’s Contracture

This is the first phase and the earliest sign of Dupuytren’s Contracture. 

In this phase, the proliferation of myofibroblasts takes place. Myofibroblasts are the cells located in the palm in between a smooth muscle and a fibroblast. This proliferation or rapid multiplication of myofibroblasts leads to the development of a nodule in the palm. 

In this stage, patients report a tender or a slightly painful feeling where the nodule develops. This pain is due to the nerves that become compressed or pushed down due to the production of excess myofibroblasts. 

A physical examination of the hands of patients in the proliferative phase shows what is termed as a ‘Blanch Blush’. Only a doctor can diagnose the condition and the stage one is at.

Blanch Blush

Blanch Blush is the term given to the change of color in the skin of the palm when it is extended. Due to over-extension of the hand, the skin in between the finger joints becomes red and leads to blanching. The condition isn’t typically painful, however, some patients do report slight discomfort.

Patients in the Proliferative Phase of Dupuytren’s Contracture can often have a Blanch Blush appear in their affected hand.


The Proliferative stage of Dupuytren’s Contracture should not be neglected as it is possible to stop the progression of the disease at this stage. The best way to reduce its spread is to use a reliable cream like ours. 

1 Response

James Garrison
James Garrison

July 30, 2020

I’m already on disability. I think I should be allowed a lot more with my stupid dupuytren disease.

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