“Why are my Hands Purple?”

“Why are my Hands Purple?”

Ask Med Student James – 5/8/16

As always would like to clarify that I am a MED STUDENT, I have no actual medical experience and my advice should not be taken as professional. If you’re really scared go to the doctor. Every other site will tell you the same thing. I say it now in this disclosure so I don’t have to bring up the obvious again. Without further adieu, my non-professional opinion…

AJ, 22, New York: “Why are my Hands Purple?”

“Why are my hands purple? And sometimes pale, or bright red, or purple with orange spots. They look sickly at times. I work a desk job, typing constantly, I’m sure this doesn’t help. My doctor tells me it is Raynaud’s Phenomenon . I think it is something worse (like scleroderma or MS) and may get a second opinion. Do you find it strange my doctor didn’t even care? I could take a photo, my hands look like they are dead. Will see a doctor. But in the meantime hoping to hear any of your thoughts? Thanks, AJ “

Response to: “Why are my hands purple?”

“AJ, first off, take a deep breath. Seems a tad drastic to jump to such life threatening diseases as MS and scleroderma.

90% sure this is a circulation problem. Which would mean your doctor was right (or at least in the ballpark). If it scares you tell him to reevaluate.

Are you of a pale complexion? It’s possible it is just your natural color. It was also winter, cold weather does not help circulation of course. Now the questions becomes why do you have circulation problems. Is it genetic? Or can we fix this?

Do you smoke cigarettes? Do you take any stimulants or methamphetamine (this includes Adderall, Ritalin, etc.)? Do you skip meals? Do you average less than 6 hours of sleep a night? Do you drink excessive amounts of caffeine/coffee?

If you answered ‘NO’ to all of these, then your poor circulation is either genetic and harmless or rare and deadly (quite a range I know, but the smart money says you would be of the former. Still, always see the doc if nervous)

If you answered ‘YES’ to any or all of these, try cutting them out of your lifestyle. Your body is telling you something. We have warm months ahead, the cold will not be a factor. Cut out these habits and you just might find the answer yourself as to why your hands are purple.”

– James J

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