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Doctor insights on: Cold Fingers Turn White

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Dr. Todd Guyette
Board Certified, Hand Surgery
159K people helped
1

1
My fingers turn white in the cold weather and then go purple and then normal colour. Can be quite painful please help?

My fingers turn white in the cold weather and then go purple and then normal colour.   Can be quite painful     please help?

Raynaud's: This is a classic presentation for raynaud's phenomena. It is disease where the peripheral arteries of the hand will spasm in response to temperature changes. Raynauds can be associated with an underlying medical condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, or many times is an isolated entity. There are medicines that are used to control symptoms if sufficiently symptomatic - and rarely surgery. ...Read more

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Dr. Adam Smith
Board Certified
11 years in practice
381K people helped
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Dr. James Seibold
75 doctors shared insights

Raynaud's Phenomenon (Definition)

Raynaud's disease is a primary vasospastic process that usually involves the fingers or toes and is worsened by cold, stress, vibration. Raynaud's phenomena is assoc. With other collagen vascular diseases such as lupus, etc. It is a vasospastic process that compounds the microvascular occlusive disease present in some ...Read more


Dr. Robert Gluck
Board Certified, Hand Surgery
33 years in practice
755K people helped
2

2
My fingers turn white when i get cold and I have a lump on my wrist - could this be carpel tunnel? Nothing hurts yet - i sleep on my hands too.

Not typical: White fingers are not at all typical of carpal tunnel. They would be more associated with a vascular or rheumatological condition. ...Read more

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Dr. Adam Smith
Board Certified
11 years in practice
381K people helped
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Dr. Bruce Rothschild
Board Certified, Rheumatology
35 years in practice
2M people helped
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Dr. Lisa Davidson
Board Certified, Family Medicine
18 years in practice
192K people helped
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Dr. Adam Smith
Board Certified
11 years in practice
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Dr. Carlos Kier
Board Certified, Rheumatology
45 years in practice
63K people helped
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Can raynaud's phenomenon ever be truly dangerous, to the point of losing fingers or toes?

Can raynaud's phenomenon ever be truly dangerous, to the point of losing fingers or toes?

Yes: In severe cases of raynaud's gangrene may develop in the finger tips and toes. This is often related to concomitant nicotine abuse and is seen in patients with severe scleroderma. It should be emphasized this is not a common occurrence. ...Read more

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Dr. Bruce Rothschild
Board Certified, Rheumatology
35 years in practice
2M people helped
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What causes raynaud's phenomenon? My friends hands turn comp blue with the slightest bit of cold. Doc said it was just rs and was ok

OK?: 7% of woman have raynaud's phenomenon. Most occurs in isolation, but workup is required to assure not part of a larger problem. This does not just mean laboratory studies, but requires assessment by a knowledgable/experienced physician. ...Read more

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Dr. Robert Kwok
Board Certified, Pediatrics
27 years in practice
10M people helped
7

7
What is the difference between raynaud's phenomenon and cold feet?

What is the difference between raynaud's phenomenon and cold feet?

Other cause possible: Raynaud's phenomenon is a well known cause of cold hands and feet due to spasm of blood vessels supplying blood to the hands or feet. Other conditions can decrease blood flow to the extremities, leading to cold hands and feet. A primary care doctor can evaluate for anemia, peripheral artery disease, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune disorders, smoking (nicotine), drug side effects, etc... ...Read more

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Dr. Robert Kwok
Board Certified, Pediatrics
27 years in practice
10M people helped
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Is it possible to die from raynaud's phenomenon?

Is it possible to die from raynaud's phenomenon?

Very unlikely: Raynaud's phenomenon decreases blood flow to the fingers, toes, nose, ears, or nipples, but the rest of the body should be ok. It would be very unusual to die from raynaud's phenomenon. Hypothetically, if a person got gangrene in a finger or toe, then got infected there, and was unable to get any treatment, his infection could spread to the rest of his body, leading to death by sepsis. ...Read more

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Dr. Robert Kwok
Board Certified, Pediatrics
27 years in practice
10M people helped
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What percentage of people suffers from raynaud's phenomenon?

What percentage of people suffers from raynaud's phenomenon?

About 5% in the U.S.: An estimated 5% of people in the United States have symptoms of raynaud's phenomenon. People with raynaud's symptoms can have vasospasm in the blood vessels supplying their fingers and/or toes, triggered by exposure to cold, vibrations, emotional stress, etc... ...Read more

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Dr. Franklin Schneider
Board Certified, Cardiology
26 years in practice
131K people helped
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Why does my raynaud's phenomenon get worse sometimes?

Cold makes it worse: Patients with raynaud's phenomenon are very temperature sensative - cold weather, even warm water may cause pain and bluish finger discoloration. It is improtant to keep your hands warm at all times - some of my patients wear gloves most of the year to avoid attacks. Feel better. ...Read more

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Dr. Adam Smith
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