Fingers that change color
Fingers that change color
Fingers or toes may change color when they are exposed to cold temperatures or stress or when there is a problem with their blood supply.
Blanching of the fingers; Fingers - pale; Toes that change color; Toes - pale
- Buerger's disease Test
- Chilblains - painful inflammation of small blood vessels
- Necrotizing vasculitis
- Peripheral artery disease
- Raynaud's phenomenon - sudden change in the finger color ranges from pale to red to blue
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
Avoid exposure to cold in any form. Wear mittens or gloves outdoors and when handling ice or frozen food. Avoid chilling, which may happen following any active recreational sport. Wear comfortable, roomy shoes and wool socks. When outside, always wear shoes.
Call your health care provider if
Call your doctor for an appointment if:
- Your fingers change color and the cause is not known
- Fingers or toes turn black or the skin breaks
What to expect at your health care provider's office
The doctor will perform a physical examination, which will include close examination of the hands, arms, and fingers.
The doctor will ask questions about your medical history and symptoms, including:
- Time pattern
- Did the fingers or toes suddenly change color?
- Has the color change occurred before?
- Aggravating factors
- Does cold or emotion cause the fingers or toes to turn white or blue?
- Did this occur after you had anesthesia?
- Do you smoke?
- Other symptoms
- What other symptoms do you have? For example:
- Finger pain?
- Arm or leg pain?
- A change in the texture of the skin?
- Loss of hair on the arm or hands?
Tests that may be done include:
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Blood differential
- Antinuclear antibody blood test
- X-ray of the hands and feet
Treatment depends on the underlying cause.
Olin JW. Other peripheral arterial diseases. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 80.
Reviewed by:Neil J. Gonter, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Columbia University, NY and private practice specializing in Rheumatology at Rheumatology Associates of North Jersey, Teaneck, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorousstandards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information andservices. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorialpolicy, editorialprocess, and privacypolicy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch.)
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatmentof any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 2014 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication ordistribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.