What Medical Problems Could Cause Blue Fingers?


Quick Answer

Blue fingers occur with Raynaud's disease, which can be either primary or secondary, explains the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. When the condition is primary, it has an unknown cause. Secondary Raynaud's disease results from conditions such as scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, Buerger's disease, thyroid disorders and cryoglobulinemia.

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Full Answer

Atherosclerosis, dermatomyositis and pulmonary hypertension are other medical conditions that cause secondary Raynaud's disease and, therefore, blue fingers, notes the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The disease can also result from exposure to certain chemicals, taking certain medications, performing repetitive motions with the hands or hand injuries. People who use cigarettes are at an increased risk of Raynaud's disease due to their exposure to nicotine. Another chemical that has a link to Raynaud's disease is vinyl chloride, to which people who work in the plastic industry are especially likely to have exposure.

Patients who take migraine medications containing ergotamine may develop Raynaud's disease because the ingredient triggers arterial narrowing, states the NHLBI. Beta-blockers, birth control pills, over-the-counter allergy medications and over-the-counter diet aids also increase risk of developing the condition. People who spend a lot of time typing, working with vibrating tools or playing the piano may experience blue fingers from secondary Raynaud's disease because these repetitive movements can cause damage to nerves and arteries in the hands.

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