Symptoms A-Z

Turning Blue or Purple From Coldness Symptoms & Causes

Understand turning blue or purple from coldness symptoms, including 7 causes & common questions.

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Contents

  1. 7 Possible Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

7 Possible Turning Blue Or Purple From Coldness Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced turning blue or purple from coldness. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Raynaud phenomenon

Raynaud phenomenon, also called Secondary Raynaud syndrome, is a condition that causes small arteries in the skin to abnormally constrict on exposure to cold water or air. This limits blood flow to the hands, fingers, feet, toes, nose, and ears.

Secondary Raynaud syndrome is rare and is caused by another underlying medical condition, often a connective tissue disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, or lupus.

Women are more likely than men to be affected, especially if living in cold climates. Family history and smoking are also risk factors.

Symptoms include the hands and feet becoming numb and cold. The skin color changes from pale to bluish, and then to red as the skin warms again.

If not treated, patients may get ulcerated sores or deformities of the fingers and toes, or even gangrene, due to the lack of circulation.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and blood tests.

Treatment includes medications to help increase circulation; treatment of any underlying conditions; and lifestyle changes to gain better protection for the extremities in cold conditions.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: distal numbness, cold toe, cold fingers, spontaneous toe pain, spontaneous finger pain

Urgency: Self-treatment

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.

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

Peripheral arterial disease (pad)

Peripheral artery disease is also called PAD, intermittent claudication, or vascular disease. The large main artery from the heart is the aorta, and its smaller branches are the peripheral arteries.

In PAD these peripheral arteries are blocked with plaque, which is debris that builds up in the lining of these arteries and eventually cuts off the blood flow.

Risk factors for PAD include smoking, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

PAD usually involves arteries that lead to the legs, but can affect any artery. Symptoms include numbness and pain in the legs, especially with exercise when more circulation is needed but the flow is blocked.

It is important to seek treatment for these symptoms. PAD can lead to increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and infection as well as to gangrene, a life-threatening medical emergency.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, blood tests, and sometimes a treadmill test, MRI, and arteriogram.

Treatment involves medication and surgery to open or bypass blocked arteries, and lifestyle changes regarding diet, exercise, and smoking cessation.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: leg numbness, spontaneous foot pain, decreased exercise tolerance, cold feet, thigh pain

Symptoms that never occur with peripheral arterial disease (pad): calf pain from an injury, thigh pain from an injury

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Turning Blue Or Purple From Coldness Symptom Checker

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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.

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

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.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: foot pain, swollen foot, foot numbness, foot redness, limping

Symptoms that always occur with mild frostbite of the lower leg: cold toe

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

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.

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

Severe 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.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: hand numbness, hand pain, swollen finger, hand redness, cold hands

Symptoms that always occur with severe frostbite of the upper limbs: cold fingers

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Turning Blue Or Purple From Coldness

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Has any part of your body become paler than normal?
  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Were you recently exposed to the freezing cold (under 32F or 0C)?
  • Do you have numbness or tingling at the end of your limb(s) (e.g., wrists, hands, fingers, feet, toes).

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your turning blue or purple from coldness

Turning Blue Or Purple From Coldness Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced turning blue or purple from coldness have also experienced:

  • 4% Cold Hands
  • 3% Cold Feet
  • 3% Fatigue

People who have experienced turning blue or purple from coldness were most often matched with:

  • 55% Frostnip Of The Upper Limbs
  • 33% Peripheral Arterial Disease (Pad)
  • 11% Raynaud Phenomenon

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Turning Blue Or Purple From Coldness Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your turning blue or purple from coldness

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.