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Cold Hands

Do your hands often feel cold even when you’re not in a cold environment? What causes this and is it normal? Should I be concerned?

Cold hands are common. It is your body’s natural response in regulating your body temperature; however, if cold hands are persistent and other symptoms such as color changes to the fingers occur, it could be a warning sign.

In normal circumstances, blood travels from the heart, down the arm to the ends of the fingertips, which keeps the hands warm. When blood flow is restricted and decreased, hands and fingertips become cold which is a condition often referred to as cold hand syndrome or cold hand disease.  Common signs that you may have with this condition include:

  1. Cold hands even in mild weather.
  2. Fingers hurt in cold temperatures.
  3. Handling frozen foods is difficult.
  4. Change in color of your hands or fingers, such as blue, white or red.
  5. Finger injuries, such as a minor cut takes longer to heal than normal.

In an individual with cold hand syndrome, blockage of the blood flow is often due to vasoconstriction (a condition when blood vessels in the hands become smaller, restricting blood flow) or vaso-occlusion (muscle pressure to the blood vessels becomes abnormally strong or prolonged, restricting blood flow).

Additional causes of cold hands could mean that you have a problem with tissue damage or nerve issues or an underlying condition such as Raynaud’s disease.

If cold hands are causing you discomfort, schedule an appointment and consult with a hand specialist. Your doctor will discuss the best course of action for underlying causes of your cold hands.

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