Acrocyanosis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

June 09 22:52 2019 Print This Article

Acrocyanosis refer to a persistent blue or cyanotic discoloration of the digits, most commonly occurring in the hands although also occurring in the face and feet as well. Acrocyanosis is typically symmetrical. Acrocyanosis is a painless disorder caused by constriction or narrowing of small blood vessels in the skin of affected patients. The spasm of the blood vessels decreases the amount of blood that passes through them, resulting in less blood being delivered to the hands and feet. The hands may be the main area affected.

The affected areas turn blue and become cold and sweaty. Localized swelling may also occur. Emotion and cold temperatures can worsen the symptoms, while warmth can decrease symptoms. The disease is seen mainly in women and the effect of the disorder is mainly cosmetic. People with the disease tend to be uncomfortable, with sweaty, cold, bluish colored hands and feet. Treatment includes insulated boots, thin polypropylene liner socks to wick the moisture away from the skin, and an insulated sock to maintain normal skin temperature.

Causes of Acrocyanosis

Find common causes and risk factors of Acrocyanosis:

The exact pathophysiologic abnormality is not clear but may be vasospasm in the cutaneous arteries and arterioles with compensatory dilatation in the postcapillary venules. The primary form is a benign cosmetic problem, but it may also be seen in patients with connective tissue diseases, thromboangiitis obliterans, and diseases associated with central cyanosis.

Signs and Symptoms of Acrocyanosis

Sign and symptoms may include the following :

  • Painless;
  • Feet and face;
  • Increased sweating;
  • Condition exacerbated by cold;
  • Blue and cold hands.

Treatment for Acrocyanosis

Treatment may include:

Acrocyanosis usually isn’t treated. Drugs that block the uptake of calcium (calcium channel blockers) and alpha-one antagonists reduce the symptoms in most cases. Drugs that dilate blood vessels are only effective some of the time. Sweating from the affected areas can be profuse and require treatment. Surgery to cut the sympathetic nerves is performed rarely.

  • Alpha blocker drugs and calcium channel blocker drugs;
  • Avoidance of exposure to cold;
  • Cease smoking;
  • Gloves/slipper.
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