It’s not unusual for our heads, hands, and feet to feel especially cold when outdoor temperatures drop. But it’s another issue to have cold, painful hands even in mild weather or with little exposure to the cold. The symptoms of cold hand diseases should be treated by a specialist since if left untreated they can cause serious conditions that may require surgery to treat.
Five Signs of a Cold Hand Disease
According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH), these are signs you may have a cold hand disease:
- your hands are cold all the time, even in mild weather
- your hands feel painful in colder temperatures, even without being exposed for a long time
- you need to wear gloves when handling frozen foods or even a cold drink
- your hands sometimes turn a white, blue, or red color
- when you get a cut on your finger, it can take a long time to heal
Causes of Cold Hand Diseases
Cold hand diseases, such as Raynaud’s disease and Buerger’s disease, are caused by decreased blood flow in the hands. This decreased blood flow can be caused by:
Vasoconstriction, which results when the muscles around the major arteries of the body apply pressure on the arteries for too long. Vasoconstriction can be painful when it causes the fingers to turn blue (a process called cyanosis), and then red as they warm up again.
Vaso-occlusion, which results when one or more of the blood vessels in the hand or wrist become blocked.
Diseases of blood vessels, which can cause both vasoconstriction and vaso-occlusion.
MSA Hand Experts Can Help
Symptoms of a cold hand disease should be addressed right away because any delay can cause necrosis that can require amputation to treat. The specialized professionals at the Muskegon Surgical Associates Hand Center can determine if you have a cold hand disease and provide the best course of treatment for your situation, which could include medication, a steroid injection, neurotoxin injection, protective hand gear, or surgery. Contact us or call (231) 739-1933.