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The Doctors Lounge - Orthopedics Answers

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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Orthopedic Topics

Question: Cold hands and painful swollen fingers

Zonda - Sat Feb 12, 2005 7:46 pm

I'm 18 years old, and my hands are constantly cold and clammy. I guess I have bad circulation or something...but thats not what concerns me the most.
for awhile now my fingers have been periodically swelling. my mother is a nurse and she thought perhaps it was because of my hands constantly being in water or maybe from the chemicals I use at work, so I kept my hands clear of water and chemicals as best I could for awhile and the swelling kept coming back.
its not my whole finger that swells, its always from my middle joint to my nail/tip of my finger, and when you press down on the swollen area its kinda harder and lumpy. my fingers are red, Itchy and obviously swollen, you can tell just by looking theyre obviously inflamed. they hurt too! :(
its only my fingers that swell, my toes are fine, and its only a small part of my fingers too.
I havent been bit by any animals, I don't have any nail infections, nothing is broken, no insect bites, skin allergies or anything that could cause this. its really starting to worry me. ..could this be serious?
please help :!:
Theresa Jones, RN - Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:28 pm

Hi Zonda,
Generally speaking when I hear a complaint of cold hands with swollen painful joints, the first things that come to mind is Raynaud's syndrome/phenomenon and Arthritis. With Raynaud's there is an over reacted constriction on the blood vessels which cause the feeling of coldness. The affected areas turn white, then may become dusky. Upon warming the affected area the skin may turn red, throb, or swell. Raynaud's may be the initial sign of Rheumatoid Arthritis among other things.
ping pong - Mon Oct 03, 2005 8:23 pm

My fingers have become blue when cold and red when warmed for 4 or 5 years - indicative of Raynaud's disease. But recently my fingers have swollen badly, and become inflamed. Also, I can not move these affected fingers properly due to the swelling. I am concerned about this excessive swelling, as it must be effecting blood flow.
Any information or guidance would be very much appreciated.

Theresa Jones, RN - Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:31 pm

Hi ping pong,
If you have not had an evaluation by a Rheumatologist, I would stronly suggest that you do so. There are medications that can be used to reduce swelling and pain but the source of the symptoms needs identified first.

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