Read below about cold toe, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your cold toe from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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5 Potential Cold Toe Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  1. 1.Raynaud Phenomenon

    Primary Raynaud phenomenon is a disorder of the blood vessels, usually in the fingers and toes, which causes the blood vessels to narrow when feeling cold or stressed. When this happens, blood can't get to the surface of the skin and the affected areas turn white and blue.

    This condition is considered irreversible, but it should not prevent you from living a healthy life.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    distal numbness, cold toe, cold fingers, spontaneous toe pain, spontaneous finger pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Mild Frostbite of the Lower Leg

    Frostbite is tissue damage caused by exposure to the cold (at or below 32F or 0C). It is most commonly found in people doing leisurely activities like camping, hunting, or snow sports. It is also more likely in those who are intoxicated or have a mental disorder.

    It takes 1-3 months to assess the damage, at which time, surgery might be needed.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    foot pain, swollen foot, foot numbness, limping, foot redness
    Symptoms that always occur with mild frostbite of the lower leg:
    cold toe
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

    Cold Toe Checker

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  3. 3.Severe Frostbite of the Lower Limbs

    Frostbite is tissue damage caused by exposure to the cold (at or below 32F or 0C). It is most commonly found in people doing leisurely activities like camping, hunting, or snow sports. It is also more likely in those who are intoxicated or have a mental disorder.

    It takes 1-3 months to assess the damage, at which time, surgery might be needed.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    foot pain, swollen foot, foot numbness, foot redness, limping
    Symptoms that always occur with severe frostbite of the lower limbs:
    cold toe
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  4. 4.Frostnip of the Lower Limbs

    Frostnip is damage of the outermost layers of the skin caused by exposure to the cold (at or below 32F or 0C). It is most commonly found in people doing leisurely activities like camping, hunting, or snow sports.

    As long as you are able to get to a place to re-warm, the damage should be reversible.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    foot pain, swollen foot, foot numbness, limping, foot redness
    Symptoms that always occur with frostnip of the lower limbs:
    cold toe
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  5. 5.Severe Ankle Injury Needing Imaging

    An ankle fracture is a break in 1 or more ankle bones. Having neurovascular compromise means that the fracture was so severe that blood flow to the toes and nerves of the foot was interrupted.

    Depending on the severity of the fracture, recovery may take up to a year.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    tingling foot, toe numbness, constant ankle pain, cold toe, pain in one ankle
    Symptoms that always occur with severe ankle injury needing imaging:
    bruised ankle, toe numbness, pain in one ankle, pain when pressing on the ankle bone, swollen ankle, ankle pain from an injury, constant ankle pain
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Cold Toe

  • Q.Do you currently smoke?
  • Q.Does your job involve holding a vibrating object, such as a drill?
  • Q.Were you recently exposed to the freezing cold (under 32F or 0C)?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with a specific type of headache?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our cold toe symptom checker to find out more.

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Cold Toe Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced cold toe have also experienced:

    • 5% Fatigue
    • 4% Toe Numbness
    • 4% Cold Fingers
  • People who have experienced cold toe were most often matched with:

    • 32% Raynaud Phenomenon
    • 4% Severe Frostbite of the Lower Limbs
    • 3% Mild Frostbite of the Lower Leg
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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