Cold hands

    • Brief

    • During the rainy season or in harmattan (cold weather), you may get cold hands and feet. This happens because your body reduces how much blood goes to those parts while providing essential organs with enough blood. This is normal.

      Having cold hands is problematic if it often occurs even in mild weather conditions. It means that there is too little blood flowing to your hands. This is the case if the colour of your hands seems white or purple. This may be a sign of an underlying condition.

    • What are the causes?

    • Cold hands can occur as a result of:

      • Exposure to cold temperatures.
      • Cold hands can be caused by medical conditions (raynaud's disease, lupus, or other conditions) that restrict blood flow to the hands and feet.
      • The deposit of fats in the blood can block blood vessels and restrict blood flow to the hands.
    • When to visit a doctor?

    • If you have cold hands, regardless of the temperature outside, you should see a healthcare provider. If you have additional symptoms, like difficulty breathing or pain in your hand, you should see your healthcare provider immediately.

    • How to prevent?

      • Reduce exposure to cold temperatures.
      • Wear mittens or gloves to keep your hands warm.
      • Eat healthy meals free of fat, for example, eggs, beans and lean meat (e.g. chicken). This reduces the chances of having fat deposits in your blood vessels.
      • Maintain a healthy weight by exercising frequently. This improves blood flow to the body parts.
    • How to manage and treat?

    • Self-care tips

      If you have cold hands without a known cause you should:

      • Exercise regularly. This helps blood circulate around the body, including your hands.
      • Wear clothing with pockets so you can always dip your hands in to feel warm.
      • Use gloves when handling cold items.
      • Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, energy drinks) or nicotine (e.g. cigarettes) as they narrow the blood vessels and reduce blood flow.

      Treatment options

      Treatment depends on the underlying medical condition responsible for causing cold hands. Your healthcare provider will be in the best position to diagnose and treat you appropriately. You may be given drugs to widen your blood vessels to increase blood flow to your hands and keep it warm.

    • Kulawa cares

    • If you have colds hands often, wear hand gloves and mittens. You should also wear appropriate clothing for all weather, aiming for warmth and comfort.