ZocdocAnswersWhy do some hands get cold in air conditioning?

Question

Why do some hands get cold in air conditioning?

Why do my hands always get so cold if I'm in an air conditioned building? I'm a young woman and everyone in my family does have bad circulation, but the weird thing is that it doesn't happen in the winter, just in the summer with the AC on.

Answer

The good news is that it is highly unlikely that you have a serious medical problem. Raynaud's phenomenon is something that occurs when blood vessels spasm in response to cold, causing the fingers to initially turn cold and blue and painful. Raynaud's phenomenon can often occur in isolation, especially in young women, or it can be associated with an underlying connective tissue disorder. However, the Raynaud's phenomenon would not occur just in air conditioned buildings. It would also occur in cold winter weather, such as when you go outside. So it is unlikely that this is what is going on. Rather, you are probably just having a subjective reaction to the air conditioning that makes you feel unnaturally cold. This does not indicated a serious circulatory problem however. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. If you still have questions setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor might be advised.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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