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Causes of Cold Hands and Feet

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa Feb 28, 2019
Coldness in hands and feet can indicate a serious issue precipitating within the body. Read on to know more about this condition.
Most of the time, cold hands and feet all the time are caused due to circulatory problems as a symptom of underlying medical condition. In cold conditions, the body adjusts itself by altering the circulation flow to keep its vital organs warm. As a result, the blood flow to hands and feet is diverted to the vital organs.
This causes the hands and feet to become cold faster. The best way to prevent cold hands and feet is by wearing warm gloves and socks. However, if temperature drop is not your problem, then this could be a sign of serious health problem.
Such people may feel cold even when indoors and get extremely cold when exposed to even minor temperature drops. It may even be a sign of poor blood circulation.

Coldness in Hands and Feet

Circulatory Disease

Circulatory diseases or cardiovascular diseases can cause cold hands and feet. When the circulation to the periphery or body extremities decreases, one may suffer from chronic cold hands and feet. Constriction of the tiny blood vessels in the periphery may cause the condition of hands always cold and purple.
Sometimes, cold and purple hands may also be a sign of lack of oxygen in blood, blood poisoning, iron deficiency, heart problems, lung problems, and even stress.


The main cause of feet and hands always cold and purple is cyanosis. This is a condition where the skin turns blue due to lack of oxygen in the blood. This is caused by respiratory problems other than cardiovascular problems.
In infants, it may be a sign of congenital heart diseases and sudden development of blue coloration in infants needs immediate medical attention.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel syndrome is a disorder, wherein, the median nerve of the fingers gets compressed in the wrists. This causes pain in the hand, feeling of numbness and cold hands always.

Thromboangiitis Obliterans

This is a peripheral vascular disorder also called Buerger's disease. The small and medium-sized arteries and veins of hands and feet are affected that leads to an inflammatory reaction causing interference with the normal circulation. This condition also makes the feet and hands cold and purple or blue.

Pulmonary Edema

Pulmonary edema or wet lungs is a life-threatening disease and a symptom of heart failure. The lung tissues are swollen that leads to inefficient heart pumping action. The insufficient blood supply to the periphery will lead to hands and feet feeling cold all the time.

Raynaud's Syndrome

One of the most common conditions that causes cold hands and feet is Raynaud's phenomenon. The tiny arteries of the fingers and toes suffer from spasm that leads to obstruction of blood flow. This leads to pain in fingers, toes, pale bluish skin and cold extremities.
Raynaud's syndrome may occur independently or may be a secondary condition due to arthritis, primary pulmonary hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.


If you are a smoker and suffer from constant coldness in hands and feet, stop smoking. The cigarettes damage you blood vessels and this causes blood flow obstruction. Heavy smokers suffer from extreme cold hands and feet in cold weather and suffer from atherosclerosis and circulatory problems.


Parasites living in your body tend to feed on all the nutrition of the body. Thus, one tends to lose weight and become malnourished even after eating well. When the body starts losing vital nutrients the body feels cold and weak. Thus, one should get themselves checked for presence of parasites in the body, if they suffer from chronic cold hands and feet.

Cold Hand Treatment and Prevention

Cold hand treatment and prevention includes wearing gloves and socks even when you are indoors. You can try the following tips for cold hand treatment and prevent this condition.
  • You should avoid caffeine as it causes blood vessel constriction.
  • You should not touch or pick up cold objects directly. Wear gloves or use tongs to pick up cold objects. 
  • You should avoid wearing tight shoes and footwear as it may cause cold feet symptoms.
  • You need to outstretch your fingers and swing your arms in large circles. This will help increase the blood flow to your fingers. Avoid this exercise if you have back problems.
  • Keep wiggling your toes to keep them warm. Wiggling helps increase blood flow. 
  • Stop smoking to prevent the cold hands and feet conditions.
  • Eat spicy foods that contain cayenne pepper, ginger, garlic and onions. These foods help in improving blood circulation as well as have a relaxing effect on the muscles.
  • STOP SMOKING. Nicotine leads to many circulatory and heart problems that causes cold extremities. 
You should speak to your health care provider about the condition in detail. Many times, this condition gets resolved on its own.