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Vascular Surgery

Cold hands and circulation

01/18/2006

Question:

I had a two part question, please. My hands get super cold, to the point of pain, but only in cold weather. They also get very cold even inside where it`s cold. But, they do not change color as described for Raynaud`s Syndrome. First, can someone have this condition without the color changes? And if someone has a circulation problem, would the extremeties be affected only when it is cold, or would they be more likely to show symptoms at other times as well? Thanks

Answer:

There are various stages of Raynaud's phenomenon. With the lack of color change, you may have a very mild form. Women can often have very vasoactive blood vessels in their hands and feet. This means that in response to cold weather, arteries in the toes and fingers can clamp down to the point of near complete occlusion, giving the sensation of cold. Wearing mittens or warm gloves even at cool temperatures can help. For a particularly painful crisis, placing digits under warm water can help. Good luck!

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Response by:

Amy B Reed, MD Amy B Reed, MD
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