Numbness in an individual's fingertips is usually caused by irritation, compression or damage to the nerves in the wrist or arm, according to Mayo Clinic. Numbness in an individual's fingertips can also result from various diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome, multiple sclerosis and chronic alcohol use.
Rarely, numbness in an individual's fingertips can be caused by a serious condition, such as a stroke or tumor, according to Mayo Clinic. However, numbness associated with either of these conditions is usually accompanied by loss of function of the entire hand or weakness in the hand or wrist. Also, certain medications can cause numbness in the fingertips, according to MedlinePlus.
Regardless of what is causing numbness in an individual's fingertips, calling the doctor should be a patient's first step, according to Mayo Clinic. This is especially true if an individual experiences numbness that has no real explanation or if it begins gradually and worsens over time. People who experience numbness that spreads to other parts of the body or is localized to only one part should also contact a doctor. If an individual experiences sudden numbness that is accompanied by dizziness, weakness, confusion or a severe headache, then it could indicate something more severe and emergency medical help should be contacted immediately.