Facebook Pixel

Why do my fingernails turn blue when I'm cold?

By November 20, 2014 - 2:31pm
Rate This

This only happens when I'm really cold, but it's a little worrisome.

Add a Comment1 Comments

Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger


Hi ALynnV - That's a great question. Thanks for bringing it to the EmpowHER community.

When the weather gets extremely cold exposure to it can temporarily slow the flow of blood through the skin, and  the low blood oxygen levels/poor circulation leads to the bluish color. Does it go away when you warm up? If so, this is normal.

There is a condition known as Raynaud’s disease which causes fingers, and toes, to turn blue when they're cold, both in cold weather and in circumstances like taking food out of the freezer. You can learn more about this from this article written for the EmpowHER community: Cold Fingers? Could be Raynaud's Disease.

If your nails remain blue for some time then I would see your medical professional to determine the cause. There are a number of conditions that can cause the fingernails to turn blue - the clinical term is cyanosis - or low levels of hemoglobin, the carrier of oxygen in red blood cells.

 Chronic cyanosis can indicate many different lung and breathing problems, including emphysema, asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other respiratory disorders. It also can be a sign of heart problems, a response to high altitude and overdoses of certain drugs.

Hope that helps. If you see your doctor please let me and the rest of the community know what you learn.



November 20, 2014 - 5:52pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.

Blood Conditions

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!