Fingers That Frequently Feel Cold May Indicate a Vascular Problem

Have you ever shaken hands with someone on a warm day, but their hand felt cold?

Or maybe you have felt your own fingers were colder than they should be.

Fingers that seem cold regardless of the weather could be caused by a vascular system problem.

What Causes Poor Blood Flow to the Hands?

Small muscle fibers within vessels throughout the body regulate blood flow by constricting and relaxing around the vessels. When blood flows as it should, your hands will be warm, and your fingers will have color.

If you are experiencing poor circulation, your fingers may:

  • Feel numb
  • Turn blue
  • Become cold


In addition, poor blood flow can cause you to develop skin ulcers or blood clots. Some causes and risk factors may include:

  • High cholesterol can cause blockages in your blood vessels
  • Cold weather causes blood vessels to become constricted
  • Emotional stress can cause the body to redirect blood from the body’s extremities to vital organs
  • Certain medications
  • Low or high blood pressure


Additionally, various health conditions could be causing poor blood circulation such as: 


This is when plaque builds up in the blood vessels and restricts blood flow to the affected areas.

Although atherosclerosis often goes unnoticed, it’s best to speak with a doctor if you are experiencing coldness and numbness in the hands and feet.


Anemia occurs when you lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body’s organs. As a result, it’s common to have low blood pressure if you are anemic.

Having low blood pressure can affect limbs further away from the heart causing poor blood circulation.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud’s phenomenon is caused by the temporary constricting of the small blood vessels around places like the fingers, toes, and ears. Primary Raynaud’s disease develops on its own, while secondary Raynaud’s disease could be caused by an underlying condition such as lupus.

It may cause the affected area to:

  • Become cold to the touch 
  • Be more sensitive to touching cold things
  • Experience symptoms of paresthesia, such as a prickling or tingling sensation

How Are Vascular Problems Like These Treated?

Cold hands could be a sign of something that may worsen over time. People who experience this symptom often report that just handling cold objects is painful as cold temperatures often exacerbate the pre-existing symptoms.

Health problems that indicate your cold fingers might be a circulation problem are: 

  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • An irregular heartbeat 


If you experience these symptoms, get a physical examination and see your doctors as soon as possible. Heart problems often display only a few visible symptoms before a fatal event. 

Some of the treatments to improve circulation that your doctor might prescribe are:

  • Lifestyle changes, such as a dietary changes
  • Wearing gloves, socks, or well-insulated clothing
  • Beta-blockers help widen the arteries 
  • Prescription medicines, such as Pentoxifylline
  • In extreme cases, surgery


Treatment will vary depending on the underlying cause. However, even if you are healthy, check your family’s medical history to see if there are circulation-related health conditions.

If you are still concerned then it’s wise to speak with your doctor to prevent any symptoms from developing into something more severe.

It may cause the affected area to:

  • Become cold to the touch
  • Be more sensitive to touching cold things
  • Experience symptoms of paresthesia, such as a prickling or tingling sensation


Your fingers can feel cold for a variety of reasons. The experts at Georgia Hand, Shoulder, & Elbow will be happy to help you get to the bottom of this problem. We understand the multiple different causes of coldness and numbness in the body, and we will uncover every stone to help you find an answer.

We always do our best to examine and diagnose you with the goal of making you better. So, if you are tired of having cold hands, contact us today and set up an appointment for a consultation.

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