ISHN

My hands are always cold, what does it mean?

May 26, 2012

hand healthAccording to the Mayo Clinic, having cold hands even when you're not in a cold environment is common. Often, having cold hands is a part of your body's natural response to regulate your body temperature and shouldn't be cause for concern.

But if you have persistently cold hands, it could be a warning sign. For example, having cold hands could mean you have a problem with the blood circulation in your hands or fingers or a problem with the nerves in your hands. If you are outside in extreme cold weather and you have cold hands, you should watch for warning signs of frostbite.

Other signs and symptoms to watch for when you have cold hands include:
Cold feet
Changes to the color of the skin on your hands, such as blue or white skin
Numbness or tingling
Open sores or blisters
Tightened or hardened skin

Although the cause of cold hands can be as simple as being in a cold environment or your body's natural response to maintain its normal temperature, if you have ongoing problems with cold hands, there could be a number of causes. Having cold hands could signal a problem with your blood circulation or the blood vessels in your hands.

Causes of cold hands include:

Anemia

Buerger's disease

Diabetes

Frostbite

Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

Raynaud's disease

Scleroderma

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment to see your doctor if you're concerned about persistently cold hands. Your doctor can check if your cold hands are caused by a problem with your blood circulation or nerves. Treatment is aimed at the underlying cause of your cold hands.