These 7 Conditions Can Make Your Fingers or Toes Turn Blue

Do your hands or feet sometimes look like they’re turning blue? You may have Peripheral Cyanosis, which is caused by inadequate circulation of oxygenated blood. Peripheral Cyanosis may be caused by such easily remedied issues as tight jewelry or cold temperature, but it might also be a sign of one of the following 7 medical conditions:

  1. Heart Failure

With heart failure, the heart is unable to pump blood effectively. The extremities are the first to be affected by the decreased availability of oxygenated blood, since they are farthest from the heart. As a result, they may begin to turn blue.

  1. Deep Vein Thrombosis

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a clot formed in a vein deep in the leg. Since the DVT blocks blood flow, it causes the feet to turn blue. DVTs can have other extremely serious complications. Someone who suspects a DVT should see a doctor as soon as possible.

  1. Raynaud’s Disease

In Raynaud’s disease, the blood vessels become narrow, and prevent blood from flowing properly to the extremities. A person with Raynaud’s disease will have blue, painful fingers and toes when the temperature drops. When the temperature then goes up and blood flow is restored, the fingers and toes will flush red.

Raynaud’s disease, though not life-threatening, can cause complications such as finger- and toe-deformity, gangrene, and skin ulcers.

  1. Low Blood Pressure

In cases of low blood pressure (hypotension), there may not be enough pressure for oxygenated blood to reach the extremities.

  1. Lymph System Problems

Lymphatic problems can prevent the lymph fluid from flowing properly. This can result in edema (swelling), which may hamper proper blood flow.

  1. Vein or Artery Problems

Issues such as venous insufficiency, peripheral vascular disease, or a blockage in the veins or arteries will prevent blood and oxygen from reaching the extremities, causing them to turn blue.

  1. Hypovolemic Shock

Hypovolemic shock is a life-threatening condition that occurs when a person loses more than one-fifth of their body’s blood or fluid supply. It is typically caused by significant bleeding; however, the loss of body fluids can also decrease blood volume. Severe diarrhea or vomiting, severe burns, and even excessive sweating can cause hypovolemic shock. Hypovolemic shock is the most common type of shock, affecting primarily the elderly and the very young.

If you see that your extremities are turning blue, you should see your primary care provider to see if any of these conditions might be the cause.

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