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Why Are My Hands Turning Cold and Blue?

Updated on April 14, 2017
Simone Smith profile image

Simone has Raynaud's disease. This causes an effect she likes to call her "mood ring hands."

Mood Ring Hands

I have mood ring hands, which is to say that they change color quite frequently throughout the day. The colors they turn can be quite dramatic at times, and people have often looked at my hands with shock and asked me what's wrong with them.

Sometimes they're really pink, sometimes they're orange, and sometimes they're extremely pale. The only time I start worrying about my hands, though, is when they begin turning purple and blue. Since it's a sort of strange thing to happen to one's hands, I decided to find out what's happening with my poor mood ring hands.

Do your find your hands turning blue from time to time, as well? Read on to find what's happening.

Oh dang. There they go again.
Oh dang. There they go again.

The Most Common Causes

There are several reasons why your hands might be turning blue:

  • You might be getting frostbite: Let's hope this is not the case!
  • It might be cynanosis: which involves the skin (or mucus membranes) turning blue due to a lack of oxygen (let's also hope this is not the case)
  • Your fingers might be bruised: did someone just shut your hand in a car door? Oh man...
  • You might have a blood clot: which would explain why your fingers are turning blue due to a lack of blood flow.
  • You might be in circulatory shock: which may also be accompanied by confusion, unconsciousness, and organ failure.
  • You might have Raynaud's disease: which is especially likely if your hands turn blue with some regularity.

In my case, Raynaud's disease is to blame. Chances are this is the case for you, too (unless you are particularly unfortunate and one of the other conditions is to blame), so let's delve a little deeper into the subject.

Raynaud's Disease Symptoms

Do your hands, like mine, turn blue a lot? Chances are you might have Raynaud's disease. Don't worry, it's not really a disease. It's more of an inconvenient condition that involves certain parts of your body (such as your nose, lips, ears, toes, and especially your hands) turning numb and cold in response to both temperature and stress (which supports my whole mood ring hand explanation).

How it Works

The way that Raynaud's disease works is that, in the face of stress or cooler temperatures, smaller arteries that pump blood through your skin go into vasospasm, which is a dramatic narrowing of vessels which limits blood circulation (hence the blue coloring).

The symptoms of Raynaud's disease are:

  • Cold toes and fingers
  • Mood ring hands (which is my way of saying that your skin changes color in response to stress or cold temperatures)
  • A prickly or numb feeling in your fingers / toes when you warm them or feel relief from whatever's stressing you out

How it Goes Down

When you're having a Raynaud's "attack," your skin will typically first turn white, then blue. You'll go from having hands that are cold to having hands that are numb or close to numb. When you finally warm your hands up again, they might swell, tingle, throb, or turn red.

Sometimes attacks are uneven—one or two fingers might be more acutely affected than others. You can totally see this in the photo of my hand to the right.

What About You?

Do your hands turn blue?

See results

Two Types

There are two types of Raynaud's: primary and secondary. Primary Raynaud's is when this condition takes place without any underlying disease. Secondary Raynaud's is when the condition is caused by an underlying problem, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, Scleroderma, carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive trauma, smoking, some sort of injury, a medication you're taking, exposure to certain chemicals, or a disease of the arteries.

Who Is More Likely to Have Raynaud's?

Raynaud's is more common amongst:

  • Women
  • People living in colder climates
  • People who have family members with Raynaud's (it seems to run in families)

If you get Raynaud's, it's most likely to crop up when you're 15-30 years old. So if you're in your 50s and this hasn't been a problem before, chances are it won't be!

How Can I Avoid Getting Blue Hands?

If you don't want your hands to turn blue (Raynaud's or not), I recommend investing in some warm, sturdy gloves and socks. It's that simple. Yeah, some people treat Raynaud's by getting a surgery called a sympathectomy, but I don't recommend it. What's so bad about having colorful hands, eh?

Mood Ring Hands... Are Real!

What I've learned by reading up on Raynaud's disease is that I really do have mood ring hands, or at least hands that visually change color when I'm stressed out.

Do your hands turn blue? What do you tell people when they stare at them? Let us know in the comments!


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    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

      My hands only change colour when they are bruised. I haven't had anythin glike hypothermia or frostbite. I do get chillblanes when I've been out in the cold with no gloves on.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      My hands are not color-talented like yours, Simone, but when I am in a really cold climate, my nose turns blue. Well, maybe not a real blue, but it FEELS like blue.

      I guess having Reynaud's is not pleasant but it could be worse. You could have Reynard's and then horsemen would hunt you down thinking you were a fox. Heh, heh.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I know it may be dangerous but it sounds like a super power! Mood ring hands. Wow

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      This is the most colorful and witty description of Raynaud's Disease that I've ever read and your photos are very dramatic. I'm so used to reading dry, medical descriptions of diseases in order to maintain nursing continuing education credits that it was really delightful to read your memorable hub about Raynaud's.

      Great job imparting factual information in a fun way.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

      Well, I was thinking having Smurf genealogy was going to be it, but all jokes aside if your fingers are doing the blue thing, go to the doctor! It's 6 months back or a bit better and the circulatory shock that it MIGHT be is no funny ha ha. Best to find out. My blue fingers were accompanied by fluid or edema, in the feet and equaled open heart surgery and three valve replacements due to an enlarged heart with valve flaps working to let back flow go on lowering my BP to 80/40 and less, no blood flow no oxygen, blue fingers and hands. If you let your government spray you with agent orange you may experience this.

      Glad you just, [should I say just?] Reynaud's, does it get any worse or cause problems down the road? Good info. article, 50

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Glad you've never gotten hypothermia or frostbite, FloraBreenRobison! Chillblanes don't sound like much fun though T_T

      And YES!! I'm glad not to have Reynard's, drbj! Hahahaaa!!!

      I never thought of that before, Hyphenbird, but mood ring hands actually make for a GREAT useless superpower!! I love useless superpowers!

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Happyboomernurse- I'm quite honored to have your approval, especially with your expertise!

      And so true, 50 Caliber. Circulatory shock is no laughing matter! I'll have to try to lay off the agent orange. Though I am happy to report that Reynaud's, on its own, is not known to cause any other problems. It's just kind of strange.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 5 years ago from Sweden

      The pictures of you hand are almost scary and it must be difficult to have this disease and to feel numb! In winter it feels like I am freezing all the time and my hands and fingers gets red and white, but they haven’t yet become blue! Warm socks and gloves really is a relief:) You have done a very informative hub and the photos speak for themselves.


    • LiamBean profile image

      LiamBean 5 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

      ha! Mood ring hands! You've coined a new term.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 5 years ago from Northern, California

      I honestly have not heard of this before, but I have seen it happen to a good friend of mine. We always just joked around about it. She never knew what the cause was, however, now I can share this hub with her in answer to a longtime question. Thanks for sharing; your pictures of blue fingers are awesome!



    • profile image

      Malory 5 years ago

      I actually have Reynauds, but what is weird is that I live in sunny Florida and I don't think anyone in my family has it, so I don't fit the description of who commonly gets Reynauds. It is more like a nuisance than a disease, but it can be uncomfortable when it's really cold. I run warm water over my hands when it happens and it helps. When people see them they sometimes ask if I'm cold and I explain what I have.

    • stefanwirawan1 profile image

      stefanwirawan1 5 years ago from Malaysia

      it is an interesting article and Reynauds pehnomenon is also associated with other connective tissue disorder such as systemic lupus erythematous and systemic sclerosis

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Poor Simone, I think that you are going to have to ensure that you keep those hands of yours warm! Interesting, well written hub.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Yeah, my hands freak my friends out sometimes, thougtforce! Gloves can go a long way though! I've learned to rely on them- in cold AND warm weather!

      Yay! I love coining new terms, LiamBean. Maybe I can get it to catch on, hehee.

      The same went for me, K9keystrokes- until one of MY friends named the condition upon seeing my hands. Hurrah for spreading knowledge!

      And that's rather interesting, Malory. I don't think anyone in my family has it either... and I don't live in a particularly cold place either. Warm water does make a big difference though. Thanks for commenting!

      That's quite interesting to know, stefanwirawan. I've never heard of systemic sclerosis or lupus erythematous before!

      It's really just a nuisance, like Malory says, CMHypno, but I'm definitely developing a collection of gloves!

    • Angelique Newman profile image

      Angelique Newman 5 years ago from Canada

      You totally captured my interest when I read your article and seen your pictures! I've never heard of Raynaud's disease before; just goes to show, I learn something new every day :) great article; I voted it up!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      I have not heard about this Raynaud´s disease before. I do have blue hands on winter sometimes but it is due to the cold weather. Voted Up. Thanks for sharing.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Quite true, Angelique Newman! I'm always on the lookout for the new thing I've learned in a particular day- it's fun to notice these things!

      And perhaps you have it, then, Thelma! Especially if it happens regularly. Go team Raynaud's! Rah rah rah!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      That's a very interesting hub. I learned something new. I never heard of this problem before. Sorry you have to deal with it Simone. But, you know? I'm wondering now...what's the health risk for people who have it as they get older?

    • profile image

      Ronnie Moore 5 years ago

      Hi, I have the darndest thing which no-one had an answer for.

      Only the last 3 fingers on my right hand does this and mostly when I work on the computer.

      I have a website with hundreds of cures from acne to fertility issues and this is the one thing I don't have a cure for!

      It makes sense though. Thanks.


    • profile image

      Jeanastra 5 years ago

      I have not been diagnosed, but I've long expected that I have Reynaud's. Although my fingers don't turn as blue as yours in the photo, my nail beds turn purple and my fingers become ice cold. Ditto for my feet. The winters are the worst (I live in Boston), but A/C has the same effect. I recommend Smart Wool socks, LL Bean boots and heavy mittens for winter. The connection I can't make is why my palms sometimes turn bright red and my fingers swell. People think I'm a freak! hahahhaaha

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      It's not much of a problem, Glenn Stok. And from what I've read, there is no particular health risk for people of all ages when one considers this condition as a stand-alone thing (though some health problems that also lead to Reynaud's have risks of their own).

      You might just have Reynaud's, Ronnie, so long as this regularly happens to you. Are your hands getting cold as you type, or are you sometimes stressed? If it's only three fingers, that's not particular unusual with Reynaud's... it often manifests itself unevenly, and some of that shows up in the photos I've included.

      Sounds a lot like Reynaud's, Jeanastra! I'm going to have to snatch up some of those Smart Wool socks... thanks for the tip! And I don't think Reynaud's is associated with swelling all that much... but perhaps you just swell in the heat sometimes... I know I do!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, I've got a friend who has got reynauds, it fascinates me when her finger tips turn blue! and her feet are a funny color too!

    • PiaC profile image

      PiaC 5 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Now I know what I'm getting you for your birthday - Gloves! Blue, of course :)

    • profile image

      rorshak sobchak 5 years ago

      This is interesting. I hope my hands never turn blue yikes. I enjoyed your Hub.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      It is rather fun to watch, Nell Rose! I'm with you on that... though until I realized what was actually going on, I felt pretty self conscious about my mood ring hands, hahaa.

      And LOL Pia! The blue remains!!

      And if you haven't noticed your hands regularly changing color on you, rorshak sobchak, you should be fine :D

    • blairtracy profile image

      blairtracy 5 years ago from Canada

      Myself, father and my sister all Raynaud's. Living in Canada this can be a real pain in the butt. I can't even pump my gas in the winter without large gloves or mitts on. And my goodness the length of time and pain for my hands and feet to warm up is awful. I feel for everyone who has this.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Well, at least it's nothing serious, eh blairtracy? I guess all we can do is stock up on gloves and laugh off the funny comments.

    • profile image

      naturalsolutions 5 years ago

      That hand looks very scary, is that blue hands have a pain? It looks like the blood is stranded to the hand just like when we hold our finger so deep for a minute right?

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      It doesn't hurt, naturlasolutions. When my hands turn blue, they're just cold, and maybe a bit numb and tingly. And yeah, that's what it looks like! It's a result of the vasospasm.

    • jj0466 profile image

      jj0466 5 years ago from Indiana

      interesting article...I am from Indiana and when it is winter, this happens to my hands sometimes. I have heard people say that it is a blood circulation problem.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I suppose it technically is, jj0466! I'm just glad it's nothing serious. Keep those hands warm this winter!

    • jj0466 profile image

      jj0466 5 years ago from Indiana

      hehe, yes :)

    • profile image

      Joebean 5 years ago

      I can actually stare at my hands, concentrate on cutting off the circulation, and turn them so blue they look black..pretty freaky.

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      Scary stuff..Thanks for telling

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I know that smokers tend to develop this problem more than others because of the damage that is done to the circulatory system. I didn't realize how blue a persons appendages could actually turn though. Wow!

    • profile image

      Ashlee 5 years ago

      I have this. It's definitely annoying. My mom also has it - though not as bad as mine. It's weird because my hands feel cold to me but they sometimes don't to others (most cases, they do). But they've never gone completely numb before. Still, they turn blue/grey/even purple. My friends get freaked out - and so does some of my family! Oh well.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      That's crazy, Joebean! Crazy but AWESOME!!! Great party trick!

      Thanks for reading, htodd!

      And that's interesting tammyswallow- I hadn't heard about that!

      I know, Ashlee! I wish this didn't happen to me. And that's odd that your hands don't feel cold to others when they feel cold to you... I wonder what's going on there! Well, at least you can now explain to worried onlookers what's going on. :D

    • profile image

      jdurant 5 years ago

      Good article. I could not imagine having to deal with this in our Canadian winters.

    • nifwlseirff profile image

      Kymberly Fergusson 5 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      Mood ring hands! I absolutely love the term!

      I have Raynaud's syndrome (the secondary variant) - various nerve/circulation symptoms interact pretty nastily with each other, under the umbrella syndrome of fibromyalgia. My hands/arms are mostly affected with long sessions of typing/piano playing/stitching/bulk food preparation/etc - anything that is repetitive (as well as cold, of course). I can't handle frozen goods without gloves!

      Warm (arctic-level) hiking socks, sheepskin boots and slippers are wonderful for keeping feet at a stable temperature. However, ski-gloves are not overly practical (especially with touch phones). These days I use fingerless gloves while typing, and a long heatpack filled with rice as a wrist rest for the keyboard and mouse.

    • innovationgeek profile image

      innovationgeek 5 years ago from California

      My hands become blue from time to time, but mostly due to what I was assuming, is the cold. Didn't know there were more conditions that could cause this! Great to know, and wish you the best!

    • profile image

      R898 5 years ago

      I have severe Raynauds. I have found that it really helps to run your hands under warm water when you get an attack. Make sure you check the water on your wrist first so you don't end up burning your hands.

    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 5 years ago from London

      I have Raynauds (annoyingly with Sjogren's), and it was really bothering me today. I was working outside, and when it came to signing out, my hands were so stiff with cold that I couldn't work the pen! Kind of awkward when someone's waiting behind you to use the pen...

      I also rely heavily on gloves (one of my must-have items before I leave the house!), and from autumn onwards I always wear at least two pairs of socks. I often have days when I just can't get warm (however many layers I wear), and running my hands under hot water or having a hot bath is the only thing that can "fix" me. That thawing-out feeling is the best feeling ever..

    • DreamsInBloom profile image

      DreamsInBloom 5 years ago

      I have something like Raynaud''s just not as extreme so I think it wouldn't be classified as that. The beds of my fingernails would turn blue or purple and the tips of my fingers would become painful and it would hurt to do things like type. Thankfully I read some stuff about Raynaud's and nutrition and found that for me taking a magnesium supplement helped so my symptoms aren't as bad (it also helped me with some other health related symptoms that have nothing to do with Raynaud's). There are some other nutrients that are supposed to help too,but I forget what they are.

    • profile image

      kylie 5 years ago

      so i have this disease and i kinda thought it was embarassing and i was scared to like hold hands with people and stuff but now you have made it so much better and cooler thank u soooooooooooooooo much

    • howtojunkies profile image

      howtojunkies 5 years ago

      i think you are transforming into an avatar! :D

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      OMG, howtojunkies! YESSSS!!!

      And I'm so glad I've made it a bit easier for you, Kylie! I used to feel really embarrassed about it too.

      And that's quite interesting, DreamsInBloom- I hadn't read about magnesium making a difference... I'll have to look into that! I'd love if it made a difference for me, too.

      Thanks for the tip, R898!

      And that's rough, Moon Daisy- I feel for you! I rely heavily on gloves too. They've made a big difference for me!

    • tarajeyaram profile image

      tarajeyaram 5 years ago from Wonderland

      Beautifully written with good explanation. I enjoying reading the hub.

    • profile image

      Maxine 5 years ago

      My hands turned Blue But i don't know why? It washed off in water. Some kind od dye.

    • profile image

      Breean 5 years ago

      I have this and it's awful (my hands are literally purple all the time). :( Writing in class is the worse and people always ask me what's wrong with them. Other people don't seem to understand what I say and just kinda look at me like I'm a freak. And if I get really nervous or stressed out my whole body including my chest and face will turn bright red and splotchy and feel like it's on fire. :(

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      This is really a terrible situation ..Thanks for the post

    • profile image

      lsmith 5 years ago

      I've had the syndrome for years and it can get very uncomfortable and at times has become dangerous. My toes can get so cold, even during the summer the go numb, then suddenly warm up and swell. The heat from warming has caused them to blister internally and the end of my big toe literally exploded from the blistering. I ended up having to treat them with very expensive burn cream. I just simply don't go outside during the cold winters in the northwest as no shoes, boots, slippers socks etc help. The syndrome is more of a body defense reaction than circulatory. When the brain thinks its cold or going to be cold it shuts down the blood flow to extremeties to maintain the body temperature. It doesn't seem to think the extremeties are as important. There really is nothing you can take, I use the hot tub when things get real bad, but you also have to be careful not to warm up too quickly as the body tends to react in the opposite manner sending too much blood to the extremeties, hence the over heating of the toes and fingers causing swelling and blistering.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks, tarajeyaram!

      And so long as you're not glittery in the sun, I say you're alright, Shailly joshi!

      Must've not been Reynaud's, Maxine. That's good!

      I feel your pain, Breean. I used to get pretty embarrassed about my hands in class as well. But now you can just explain what's going on!

      It's not so bad, htodd. At least it's nothing serious, health-wise! Just looks funny :D

      I am not sure if swelling and blistering is so much a symptom of Reynaud's, lsmith, though perhaps it could be (I am by no means an expert!). What happened sounds awful, though! I'm so sorry about that! Interesting comment about this being a defense reaction, though. Hahaa, it's sort of like an allergy to cold, then!

    • profile image

      kanza 5 years ago

      why it only appears in winter not in summer???

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      It is colder in the winter, kanza, so it's less common for folks to see the symptoms during the summer months, but the photos I took for this guide were taken in June!

    • profile image

      icountthetimes 5 years ago

      A family member of mine suffers from Raynaud's disease. For a long time she really didn't know what was going on, and had to quit her job which involved working in a cold environment. She's on medication now though and thankfully has situation is much improved.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      TIMETRAVELER2 5 years ago

      Very interesting. I wasn't aware that hands change color, but then, I never looked!!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I'm glad she's seen some improvement, icountthetimes!

      And you would TOTALLY notice this, TIMETRAVELER2. It's pretty distinct!

    • profile image

      5 years ago

      "WHAT'S SO BAD ABOUT IT?????"

      a few weeks ago my mother's left hand's finger tips turned blue. they have stayed that way since and even seem to be darkening day by day. she also has stabbing pain in her fingers whenever she's cold. she hasn't been able to sleep.

      she went to a terrible neurologist who ran tests and told her she has raynaud's and there is nothing she can do about it. she wouldn't even prescribe her pain killers and sent her back for her regular doctor to do that. her doctor had another look at it and said that just by observing it for a few minutes he can tell that it's more than just raynaud's. so she had more tests done and has been waiting for the results since. so far, lupus has been cancelled out. this is a shitty situation. i wish there was something i could do for her. the doctors have been so unhelpful

    • profile image

      lol 5 years ago

      idk its very un #usaul

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, m, I've never read or heard of such a severe case before! That's really unfortunate. And I do agree, it strikes me as pretty unusual. Though I'm certainly not an expert in this area!

    • Pascale1973 profile image

      Pascale Skaf Saliba 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I love your article, when I was pregnant with my triplets, I woke up one morning and freaked out, my hands were a blue purple color on the inside, and they stayed that way for days, when I visited my doctor he told me it's normal for triplet pregnancies because of the extreme blood flow in the body "who knew", it was really weird though, nice hub..

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, that must have been such a fright, Pascale1973!! Pregnancy can make the STRANGEST things happen O_O

    • nanetteparker profile image

      nanetteparker 5 years ago

      the only reason i know why there are some hands that turn blue is because of lack oxygen supply in the blood. But with your hub post, i get additional info for such matter.

      by the way, let me just share this acquired tip shared by one of my health instructors in college. According to him, one way to detect if the peripheral (far) areas of the body is still receiving enough supply of oxygen-rich blood is to pinch the fingernails. if the color immediately returns to pinkish or reddish, then the blood is still carrying oxygen..

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      That's a great tip, nanetteparker! Thanks!

    • tlmcgaa70 profile image

      tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa

      my hands used to swell and turn blue when in contact with very cold water. i remember one night our neighbors place caught fire and i turned the hose on our place in case it should spread (it didn't because we have totally awesome firefighters). finally the smoke got to thick and we decided to take the dogs and go into town. my hands were so tight and swollen that i had great difficulties unsnapping the dogs leashes. turns out i also had reynauds. it has been many years since i have had this problem though. great hub, very informative. i like your name for it "mood ring hands" cute.

    • profile image

      Char 5 years ago

      My hands turn blue/grey and almost look like they are bruising. It will creep up on the heel of my hand, my fingers, and the beds of my nails. However, it doesn't happen very often (mayber every couple of months) but when it does it lasts for anywhere from half an hour to several hours.

      Should I head to the doctor to be tested/examined? I just had a physical and everything was clear. However, I didn't ask about this since it is so infrequent. Then it happened tonight and I found this page! What do you think? Is it worth booking an appointment?

    • writinginalaska profile image

      writinginalaska 5 years ago from southeast Alaska

      I had this happen when i was in my 20's and 30's my hands would turn blue or an ashen gray of sorts and be very cold even in summer. I was told this happens from poor circulation in the extremities. I finally found great relief by taking encapuslated Cayenne/with butchers broom ( which kept the Cayenne from burning in the stomache.) The Cayenne opens up the capularies and therefore allows more blood to flow and reach the hands and feet. I only had to take the Cayenne for about 6 months and the condition went away. This might be helpful for someone else. It sure helped me ;) lvh

    • Larissa Johnson profile image

      Larissa Johnson 5 years ago

      This has happened to my feet and, more recently, my hands. They are more blue than what the picture shows. Literally all of the back of my hand and my fingers turn bright blue. I'm wondering if it's more than just Raynaud's...but all the other symptoms apply to me.

      Whenever anyone asks about it, I just say "I don't know...but isn't it pretty?!"

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Yikes, that must have been a very stressful evening, timcgaa70!

      Char, I'm not by any means a doctor or medical expert, so if you are thinking of asking your doctor about this, I say you should go ahead and do it!

      And writinginalaska, that's a fascinating fix! Cayenne... who would have thought??? I'll have to look into that.

      Your answer is the BEST, Larissa Johnson! And heck, if you think it's unusual, it would never hurt to just check with your doctor, eh? But heheee- I am totally going to start saying the same thing to people when they ask questions about my blue and purple hands!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Well, that's a great positive attitude, anu!

    • profile image

      Reddtif 5 years ago

      Mood ring hands classic, lol. I've had raynauds for almost 10 years and it's definitely getting worse ( even though living on MI doesn't help either). I remember when i was in high school, the air would stay on all year around (keep in mind its MI) my hands were so purple they would turn a blackish color. They actually still get that dark now, and thats with heavy duty gloves, or even in 70 degree weather, accompanied with severe stinging. My doc refuses to give me medication for it because I suffer from hypotension, and he don't want it to get worse or lower. While my raynauds is not a cause or a factor of any other disease, I will mention that I have thyroid disease, alopecia areata, chondromalacia patella, fibromyalgia, bursitis, discoid lupus, and I often suffer from hypoglycemia. And I am still getting checked by more docs. While raynauds is not deadly, It is important to be checked if you suspect you have raynauds as it can be an underlying condition of a more severe illness.

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      Her Ivory Tower 5 years ago

      Your photos do not look like Raynauds at all - have you had a proper diagnosis?

    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 5 years ago from London

      I got the best Valentine's present from my other half - which is raynaud's related. The most beautiful stripy/sparkly fingerless gloves. So I can wear them inside, and still be able to type/eat/function. I'm wearing them now. So happy! :)

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Oh, those sound super cute, Moon Daisy!

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      I am suffering with Raynaud`s disease since I was 15. I do not like it.

      This is really a great article. Voted up!

    • the-remedy profile image

      the-remedy 5 years ago from Houston

      My fingernails turn blue often when I'm cold but I am anemic (low iron), so its interesting to read reasons behind why other folks may be turning blue. Very informative!

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      Jarrenv 5 years ago

      Wow, i just recently got diagnosed with reynauds... my hands have beeing constantly going from purple and red, to white, to beat red and hot sometimes. I had nooo idea what was going on, i though it had something to do with my really long arms and such but i wasn't sure. I live in michigan, hateee gloves, rarley wear socks with my mocs. lol. I haven't been doing anything right!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I don't imagine most people are fans of Reynaud's urmilashukla23, though at least it's not something more serious!

      And that's quite interesting, the-remedy!

      And it sounds like it's time for you to start loving gloves, Jarrenv! I don't know what I'd do WITHOUT them in Michigan!!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Raynaud's certainly isn't the world's most pleasant condition, urmilashukla23. Heheheheh..

      And I've never heard of that happening before, the-remedy! Most interesting!

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      Phone001 5 years ago

      A friend of mine says that I have zombie hands lol

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      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Hehee, zombie hands! Love it!

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      trillium 5 years ago

      All too frequently after the redness dissipates, bruising results. It's especially painful when I continue to have episodes and my hand hasn't healed yet. I struggle having patience with the inconvenience of being able to use my hands like I want to.

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      kelleyward 5 years ago

      I have Raynauds also but my hands turn white... I hate it, it is so uncomfortable. I guess no snow skiing for me again!! Great article!

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      Lisa 5 years ago

      I have Raynaud's disease, too. It's annoying! I bought gloves that you can heat in the microwave (have little herbal packs inside) and I wear these when I have an attack. Thanks for an interesting article!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I wouldn't let it put you off! The right pair of gloves can make a world of difference, kelleyward!

      And microwavable gloves??? Dude, Lisa. You're brilliant!! I need to get some!

    • Gemini Fox profile image

      Gemini Fox 5 years ago

      Well, I guess I'm a lil blue-toed Gemini :) Don't think too many people are aware of this disease - I wasn't until a couple of years ago. Just thought I had bad circulation.

      In reality it poses a problem that no one else here seems to have brought up so far. Because my hands also get cold it is sooooo embarassing to be in an interview with a potential employer or meeting new clients (or meeting anyone for that matter) and then have to shake hands with them or appear rude . . . and then hand them an ice cold, dead wet fish (if you know what I mean) and then they look at you as though you HAVE just handed them an ice cold, dead wet fish (or maybe just landed from Mars) and then you've hurt the "karma".

      Someone recommended cayenne - been trying that and it doesn't seem to help all that much. No, saying, "Wait, let me put on my glove," just doesn't cut it! Sometimes I do smile and say, "Cold hands, warm heart," but that only works on some people. Do you have an answer? Anyone? Please, please, please?

    • teacherloves2cook profile image

      teacherloves2cook 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I think I have Raynauds too. Whenever my hands and feet are cold, they turn the color of a corpse. They are a bluish purple color. Luckily, wearing nail polish covers up my nails. This happens to me in cold, Chicago winters and in air-conditioned rooms in the summer. It's nice to know so many other people have this too. Great article!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I know that embarrassed feeling with shaking hands, Gemini Fox. It's the worst! I just brush it off with a short apology, though, and try to do my best to keep my hands warm all the time. I wish I had a better solution or an answer to the problem, but... well, I'm not at all an expert on this subject. I just think Raynaud's is interesting.

      And smart trick with the nail polish, teacherloves2cook! I should really do that!

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      Bernard Erni 5 years ago

      I also had that problem.. blue hands.. but not like that because mine is like.. light blue, all hands not only fingers.. and extremely cold.. I told my teacher that i'm really fine. because i'm not feeling anything but my classmates near me felt cold.

      But... I'm male, I live in a philippines(HOT CLIMATE)

      and my family didn't had this problem..

      My parents tried to pour a BOILING water in my hands but i didn't feel anything.. after 1 minute the water became cold..

      then i cured it when i tried putting it near the fire (I did above the fire XD)

      SO.. what do u thing is the problem?

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      Shaily 5 years ago

      Rite now its summer season more cold hands except they get sweaty if m hodin smthng

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Bernard Erni, I have no idea what it might be. I'm not an expert on this subject. I recommend contacting a doctor, because it sounds like you have a problem with the blood circulation in your hands.

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      shubhankar 5 years ago


      yesterday i was playing cricket and the ball hit my fingure and immediately it turned to blue.So will you please tell what can i do

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      Shannon 5 years ago

      While the article is an interesting take on Raynaud's, it's not really just an inconvenience for some people. Mine is extremely debilitating both physically and psychologically. I'm definitely more sensitive to cold temps, but even when its warm out my hands frequently become ice cold, my fingers are difficult to move, and my skin coloring is ashen gray up to my elbows and on my feet. Part of my job involves teaching new employees physical intervention strategies, and I have to wear gloves so I'm not shocking them every two minutes. If I wear heels, flats, anything where my feet are exposed SOMEONE will say something about the color of my feet. When I have an attack typing is almost impossible (and I'm in grad school so that can be a huge problem), every joint in my body hurts, and I'll take several showers or baths to try and warm up (but will still shiver). I've been with my boyfriend for two years and he still gets concerned over how cold and discolored my skin gets. Different therapies and at least half a dozen rheumatologists and dermatologists and no effective treatments yet. There are a lot worse things to be struggling with, but depending on how severe a person's case is Raynaud's can be very disruptive to a person's life.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      shubhankar, it sounds like you need to see a doctor.

      And I feel your pain, Shannon, though it sounds like you do have it far worse than I've seen with myself or others I know. I'm sorry that you have yet to find a good solution. Here's hoping that changes soon!

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      Torfs 5 years ago

      If there are no other diseases involved, overactive sympathetic nervous sistem is to blame.

      Just be relaxed and keep yourself warm and that is it. To help Your hands warm up faster, You can use (drink) red peper powder mixed in warm water with honey. Half a teaspoon will do the trick quickly. Alcohol and other vasodilation agents can be used, but they may have some side effects. Cardiovascular exercises is a good way to warm up and keep Your blood vesels healthy. And avoid CNS stimulants like coffe, nicotine (tabacco), lots of cacao, etc. which also act as vasoconstriction agents.

      All the best.

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      aaron 4 years ago

      I have it I think, because its my third time. Its probably because I was stressed out over some really hard math problems. Or maby I have poor blood circulation. Sometimes you must have faith that you will be alright. The placebo affect works.

    • Lela Bryan profile image

      Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA

      I have it too! It was scary when I first had it but now I know what it is and I can deal with it . I got it the first time when I was about 61 years old!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Yeah, I'm starting to see it happen with my hands more now that the weather is getting cold. At least it's not really something to be stressed about, once one knows it's just a weird circulation issue (if it is indeed Reynaud's, of course... heheheh...).

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      Kaylee Jones 4 years ago

      My hands turn blue all the time at school and people get freaked out sometimes! I started noticing this last year as a freshman in highschool, and it still happens! Except where i live the winter is 80 degrees. It never really gets under that temperature wise.

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      Lisa Hilbish 4 years ago

      I have been loosely diagnosed with this disease by an emergency room doctor and my primary physician. However I think mine is being caused by some sort of stress to my hands. My hands actually hurt and ache when it happens to the point I can hardly use them. Do others have this happen when it occurs? I am wondering if I should see a specialized doctor? Any suggestions? I have a flare up about once to twice a week. I have found limited information on this disease and not many know too much about it - by reading all the posts it looks like mine might be secondary.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

      That sometimes happens to me, though the symptoms are not terrible. Lisa, I definitely think it would be good for you to see a specialist if this problem regularly gets in the way of you being comfortable and using your hands.

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      Jonathan 3 years ago

      Stay inraomftive, San Diego, yeah boy!

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      Terry 3 years ago

      I have been diagnosed with Raynauds. I also have Lupus and Sjogrens. My hands and forearms become very painful. You can see the veins in my hands and arms become 4 times larger than usual when there is a flare-up and it has been constant for a few days. My hands turn first blood red, then the palms and fingers turn blue with the lines in my hands and fingers remaining bright red. It is quite colorful, but very painful.

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      dav 3 years ago

      same very hard to explain at job interviews just cant get a job hav qualificans, but once the hand shake they hav already made up there mind

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      Angela Burke 3 years ago

      I also have this problem my hands and feet turn purple all the time and when I am writing or taking notes they turn bright red and when I run them under warm water after they turn purple to relieve the pain it is totally uncomfortable I was told by the doctor I had Raynaunds think I may have to quit smoking

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 3 years ago from Tennesee

      Very interesting article. I know someone whose hands do this; they haven't worried about it so far, but I'll clue them onto this Hub. Thanks for sharing.

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      Connor 3 years ago

      My hands turn blue and orange aswell

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      nancy dashiell 2 years ago

      My hands have been turning blue. I live in south florida so the temperature is never cold. My hands dont feel numb nor in pain just the color freaks me out. I want to go see the doctor but I get concern about the results. Well got to face it blue hands and all.

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      Kristeen 2 years ago

      I have Raynaud's Syndrome and it gets worse as I age. People are very judgemental. I laugh because I've been diagnosed with so many bizarre "medical conditions". Raynaud's, Fibro myalgia, keratoma, cervical cancer, a football sized benign tumor in my abdomen and mysophonia. Lol! Weird

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      Miche 23 months ago

      Your hands amazingly look just like mine at times. It only occurs once or twice a year but it definitely is alarming. I dont think mine is from Raynauds because it happens during warm seasons and my hand do not feel cold when it occurs. I went to the ER once while it was happening and they ran tests on me but they can back inconclusive. The Dr. suggested i have special tests done to rule out Lupus but i never did.

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      Curios Penny 20 months ago

      My left hand middle finger has been turning blue once I put my hands in water, cold or warm. During winter the finger all the time blue. It not cold to the touch or numb. I saw since yesterday the small finger on the same hand is also becoming blue.... now I am becoming concern

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      Cara B 9 months ago

      I also have Raynauds syndrome. Every time someone sees my blue hands, they think I'm dying. My hands & sometimes feet turn very blue when i am cold or stressed. I am beginning to think mine is also caused by my social anxiety. Ive noticed most of my attacks are when im in a big crowd of people.

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      Jenny Craig 4 months ago

      My hands usually turn purple and blue in the winter and they are red in the summer time?!

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