Cold Hands Syndrome
Cold hands syndrome is a vascular disorder caused by decreased blood flow through the hands and fingertips. UChicago Medicine offers a full range of services for the treatment of cold hands syndrome. The Cold Hand Clinic is one of few programs in the nation providing specialized care from surgeons extensively trained in reconstructive surgery for all vascular disorders affecting hands and upper extremities.
In the Cold Hand Clinic, we use leading-edge techniques to optimize hand health and quality of life for patients with cold hand issues. Our doctors are always investigating the latest innovations in the surgical and nonsurgical treatment of cold hand diseases, because we are passionate about providing the best care possible for each patient.
What are the signs and symptoms of cold hands syndrome?
If you have cold hands syndrome, you will probably experience one or more of these common symptoms in your fingers and hands:
- Pain (particularly in cold temperatures)
- Abnormal, extreme coldness (particularly when others in the same environment have warm hands)
- Numbness/loss of sensitivity or tingling
- Discoloration (white, blue or red)
- Streaks of discoloration under the fingernails (splinter hemorrhages)
- Ulcers or wounds that do not heal
- Symptoms in the feet in addition to or instead of the hands
What causes cold hands syndrome?
Cold hands syndrome occurs as a result of blocked or constricted blood vessels, caused by a vascular disorder (a cold hand disease) or an injury, such as:
- Blood clotting
- Hand trauma, including occupational or recreational or sports injury (e.g., laceration wounds, fractures or penetrating injuries)
- Diseases that cause narrowing of the blood vessels in your hand and fingers, such as arteriosclerosis
- Raynaud's disease (primary Raynaud's)
- Raynaud's phenomenon/syndrome (secondary Raynaud's), caused by autoimmune or connective tissue disease (e.g., lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Tumors or vascular malformations that cause abnormal blood flow between veins and arteries