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Why do my fingers turn red when I'm cold?

Whenever I'm cold, my fingers start turning red and my fingertips feel stiff. This is painful and happens frequently when the A.C. is turned on high or I'm outside and it's cold. Is this normal, and what can I do to stop it?


You’re not alone, girlie. This is an uncomfortable experience that tends to be common in young women. But since you can’t avoid cold weather (or A.C. on warm summer days), there are ways that you can stop your fingers and fingernails from being affected by the frigid air.


What you’re probably experiencing is called Raynaud’s Phenomenon, which causes your blood vessels to spasm in cold weather and reduce the blood supply to your fingers. When this happens, your fingers start to change colors (usually from pale white to red), and begin to feel painful (which explains your stiff fingertips). This just means that the blood is not circulating as much in your fingers as it needs to, but luckily, it’s not too hard to get the blood flowing again.


To stop this from happening, be sure to wear warm gloves when you’re outside in the cold. If your fingers are turning red from the frosty A.C., place them in a warm spot on your body, like your neck or underarms, and let them absorb some heat. Sticking your fingers under a faucet with warm running water will also help bring back circulation, and so will rubbing or massaging your fingers until they get warm.  


Because your fingers stiffen when their blood flow is blocked, you can reduce that stiffness by making sure the blood keeps moving. Reducing stress, exercising regularly and drinking less caffeine will get rid of those circulation problems so you won’t have to worry about them anymore. 


Good luck, babe!

BY CASEY LIEBERMAN ON 3/21/2013 12:00:00 AM


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