Read below about pale hands, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your pale hands 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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3 Potential Pale Hands 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.Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

    Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is the compression of the nerves and/or blood vessels that run through the upper chest. It can occur as a result of trauma, surgery, growths in the body, or just randomly.

    Resolves with treatment (30% relapse)

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one shoulder, spontaneous shoulder pain, arm weakness, arm numbness, pain in one shoulder blade
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  2. 2.Mild Frostbite of the Upper 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:
    hand numbness, hand pain, hand redness, cold hands, cold fingers
    Symptoms that always occur with mild frostbite of the upper limbs:
    cold fingers
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  3. 3.Frostnip of the Upper 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:
    hand numbness, hand pain, hand redness, cold hands, cold fingers
    Symptoms that always occur with frostnip of the upper limbs:
    cold fingers
    Urgency:
    In-person visit

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pale Hands

  • Q.Have you lost your appetite recently?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Q.Do you drink alcohol?

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

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Pale Hands Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pale hands have also experienced:

    • 9% Fever
    • 8% Chills
    • 4% Fatigue
  • People who have experienced pale hands had symptoms persist for:

    • 45% Less Than a Day
    • 26% Less Than a Week
    • 17% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced pale hands were most often matched with:

    • 7% Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • 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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