How hot hands and feet

What cold hands and feet tell us

The cold season has arrived: While some are crawling into a warm room, others are enjoying the autumn days in the fresh air - but you can get cold hands and feet everywhere. Why this is so and what the cold hands and feet tell us, Dr. Uwe Samar, chief physician at the Clinic for Vascular Surgery at the HELIOS Clinic Siegburg.


“Especially in winter, many people suffer from permanently cold hands and feet. For the most part, they are not a serious medical problem, but they can also be signs of circulatory problems. If additional discoloration occurs, it may be so-called white finger or white toe disease (Raynaud's syndrome). In the case of wounds or black discolouration, there is imminent danger, ”says the vascular surgeon. For the correct treatment, it is important to first distinguish whether the cold feet and hands are the result of vascular diseases or circulatory disorders. These permanent conditions should be evaluated and treated by a doctor. Doctors from various disciplines are available for this in the vascular center in the HELIOS Clinic Siegburg.


Other causes of cold feet and hands can be the so-called evaporative cooling, which can arise, for example, from tight shoes, sweaty feet or incorrect clothing. "But diseases such as low blood pressure, thyroid diseases, diabetes and cardiovascular problems are also possible causes," said the chief physician. Anyone who suffers from stress, takes certain medications or is often tense can also get cold feet quickly.


Disturbed thermoregulation
It is well known that women are much more often affected by the phenomenon of cold feet than men. They have less heat-producing muscle mass and thinner skin than men. In addition, they lack the necessary fat pads that provide warmth. "Women are also more likely to suffer from low blood pressure and are more susceptible to hormonal interactions that can cause cold feet," says Dr. Uwe Samar.


Raynaud's Syndrome
Not only cold, but also seizure-like vascular cramps can trigger cold feet and hands. Young women between the ages of 20 and 40 are particularly affected. “The blood supply in the fingers and toes is so reduced that they initially turn pale to white and even blue. Then they redden again, ”explains the vascular surgeon. In some people, it can also affect the nose, chin, or ear lobes. Reaching into the refrigerated shelf can be enough to trigger the sometimes painful symptoms. If these occur in connection with inflammatory vascular diseases or rheumatism, the doctor should be consulted.


Low blood pressure (hypotension)
“Even in warm temperatures, we can feel cold on certain parts of the body. In order for the blood to flow freely through our body, we need a strong heart and intact vessels. If the pressure is too low for various reasons, the blood no longer flows evenly and blood flow to parts of the body and organs is poor, ”explains Dr. Uwe Samar. Due to the low blood pressure, the blood circulation in the toes and fingers is reduced, which makes us there pale and causes cold. In such a case, the circulation should be stimulated. “More exercise and alternating showers are always advisable. Patients with low blood pressure should also drink more fluids in the form of water and juices. "


Tips for warm hands and feet:

  • Exercise breaks down fat and improves blood circulation in muscles and skin.
  • In the morning, alternating showers stimulate blood circulation and get the circulation going.
  • Avoid tight shoes and socks made of synthetic materials: Air is required in shoes so that they can act as a heat pad. Therefore, leave at least one centimeter of space in winter shoes and use thermosoles. Socks made from natural fibers warm the feet faster and promote less sweat.
  • Avoid stress: the more adrenaline is released, the more likely it is that the blood circulation in the body is reduced.
  • Warm socks at night keep your feet warm.
  • Anyone who sits at a desk for a long time should try not to cross their legs. So the blood circulation is not disturbed. Toe gymnastics in between stimulates the blood circulation.
  • In the case of circulatory and nerve disorders as well as vein problems, the doctor should be consulted.




The HELIOS Klinikum Siegburg is an acute hospital for legally and privately insured patients with around 360 beds. It guarantees a coordinated range of five medical centers, eight specialist clinics, attending doctors and partnerships in the inpatient and outpatient sector. A team of over 850 employees works hand in hand for the health and well-being of around 43,000 inpatients and outpatients every year. Looking to the future, the HELIOS Klinikum Siegburg operates its own nursing school with around 75 apprenticeships.


The HELIOS Kliniken Group has 112 of its own acute and rehabilitation clinics including seven maximum care providers in Berlin-Buch, Duisburg, Erfurt, Krefeld, Schwerin, Wuppertal and Wiesbaden, 72 medical care centers, five rehabilitation centers, 18 prevention centers and 14 care facilities. This makes HELIOS one of the largest providers of inpatient and outpatient care in Germany and offers quality medicine across the entire spectrum of care. The company's headquarters are in Berlin.


HELIOS treats more than 4.7 million patients annually, around 1.3 million of them inpatients. The clinic group has a total of around 35,000 beds and employs around 71,000 people. In 2015, HELIOS generated sales of around 5.6 billion euros. The HELIOS clinics are part of the Fresenius health care group and are partners in the “We for Health” clinic network.



Press contact:
Julia Colligs
Corporate communications officer
Phone: +49 2241 18 7291
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