Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What might be making the tips of my fingers numb?"
I have numbness in my fingertips. It isn't in my fingers or hands, just the very tips of my fingers, sort of underneath the fingernail. Could I have a nerve problem in my arms that is making my fingertips numb?
This type of numbness can have several different causes, all of which should be investigated by your doctor. While I can't tell for sure what is going on in your finger tips, I do know that you don't want it to progress or get any worse. One possible cause of numbness in the finger tips is lack of blood flow. This can be caused by something called Raynaud's phenomenon. Raynaud's phenomenon is a symptom that is seen in some disease such as lupus where blood flow doesn't reach the tips of the fingers, especially in cold weather. Another common cause of numbness in the finger tips is uncontrolled diabetes. High blood sugars caused by diabetes damage nerves in the finger tips and toes. If you also have nerve problems in your feet, then this could be an explanation. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take a more detailed history of your symptoms and perform a thorough neurological exam. Your doctor should be able to tell what type of pattern your numbness suggests, and order any additional blood tests which may help distinguish between the different causes of this symptom. Good luck.
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