ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

100 Causes of Paresthesia in the Fingertips

Updated on January 18, 2014

Quick Symptom Checker

If you know the symptoms, this quick symptom checker may help you narrow down the causes of numbness in the fingertips.

Picture: Green area is innervated by the median nerve, blue area by the ulnar nerve and red area by the radial nerve.

1. Morning numbness in the hands and fingertips lasting only for few minutes.

- You were probably just sleeping with your forearm/hand under the head or other body part.

2. Anxiety and tingling in fingertips and toes and around the mouth

- Hyperventilation; can also happen in heavy exercise.

3. Numbness/tingling in the index, middle finger and thumb (in one or all of them)

- Carpal tunnel syndrome

4. Numbness/tingling in the pinky finger

- Guyon's canal syndrome (wrist), cubital tunnel syndrome (elbow), hammer hand syndrome (hand), vibration white finger (fingers)

5. Paresthesia and pain down the arm toward the fingertips

- Problems of the neck spine, thoracic outlet syndrome, fall or kick to the head or shoulder, lung cancer

6. Numbness in the hands and feet on both sides

- Peripheral neuropathy

7. Numbness or pain and white-blue-red discoloration of one or more fingertips after exposure to cold or in stress

- Raynaud's phenomenon

8. Recurring peeling and numbness in the fingertip (on one or more fingers)

- Fingertip eczema

9. A random finger suddenly becomes pale or blue, painful and numb without apparent reason

- Embolism or blue finger syndrome

10. Chronic bluish discoloration of the hands and fingers with slightly numb fingertips

- Hypoxia due to heart or lung disease, anemia, atherosclerosis, vasculitis etc.

Below, 100 causes of numbness in the fingertips are arranged by the mechanisms involved.

1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Numbness in the first three fingers (the thumb, index, middle)

Causes:

1. The cause is often not found

2. Congenital anomaly of the wrist

3. Overuse of the wrist (assembly work, typing...) may result in wrist tenderness

4. Wrist injury

5. Diabetes

6. Hypothyroidism causes swelling in the wrist

7. Kidney failure causes water retention and swelling in the wrist

8. Pregnancy causes water retention

9. Ganglion cyst in the wrist can press on the median nerve

10. In acromegaly there is hypertrophy of the tissues in the hand.

2. Pinched Ulnar Nerve

Numbness in the pinky finger

Causes:

Guyon's canal syndrome:

1. Cyclists' palsy — pressing of the hands on the handlebar may result in the compression of the ulnar nerve

2. Prolonged use of crutches

3. Weightlifting

4. Work with wrists bent downwards and outwards

5. Injury of the wrist

Cubital tunnel syndrome:

6. Constant leaning on the elbows (students) can result in tender elbows and numbness in the pinky finger

7. Driving and other activities with repeated flexing and extending of the elbows

8. Cubitus valgus (hyperextended elbow, may be due to congenital anomaly)

9. Arthritis in the elbow

Hammer hand syndrome:

10. Repeated use of a hand as a hammer can cause in a sudden numbness, pain and white or blue discoloration of the pinky finger

3. Peripheral Neuropathy

Bilateral Numbness in the Hands and Feet

Causes:

1. Long-lasting diabetes 1 or 2

2. Alcoholism

3. Chronic kidney failure

4. Hypothyroidism

5. Vitamin deficiency (vitamins B1, B3, B12, folate)

6. Mineral deficiency (hypocalcemia; copper deficiency after bariatric surgery)

7. Vasculitis

8. Infections, such as Lyme disease, diphtheria, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B

9. Heavy metals: arsenic, lead, mercury, thallium and other substances, such as acrylamide

10. Drugs, for example certain antiepileptics and vitamin B6 overdose

4. Other Neurological Causes

Numbness or pain in the arm, hand or fingers

Acute causes:

1. A cut of the digital nerve can result in loss of sensation in the finger for several weeks.

2. Spray painting with prolonged pressure of the index finger on the spray can nozzle

3. Seizures (grand mal epilepsy) may be accompanied by paresthesia anywhere in the body.

4. Whiplash injury - hyperextension of the neck in car or motorbike accidents

5. Guillain-Barre syndrome - numbness, rapidly progressing (hours to days) from fingertips to arms and from toes to legs, followed by muscle weakness that can affect the whole body and may be life-threatening

Chronic causes:

6. Thoracic outlet syndrome in sports with overhead activities, such as baseball

7. Cervical radiculopathy, which means compression of the root of the spinal nerve that innervates the arm; causes include herniated disc and arthritis in the neck spine

8. Spinal stenosis, which means narrowing of the canal in the spine through which the spinal cord runs, for example due to a herniated disc

9. Multiple sclerosis - numbness in various parts of the body that comes and goes

10. Leprosy (rare, mainly in South Asia and Africa)

5. Raynaud's Phenomenon

White-blue-red fingertips after exposure to cold or stress

Raynaud's phenomenon may be associated with the following conditions:

1. Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)

2. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

3. Rheumatoid arthritis

4. Frequent and vigorous piano playing

5. Work with vibration tools (vibration white finger)

6. Previous finger injury, frostbite

7. Cancer, especially lung, ovarian and gastric cancer

8. Chronic liver disease

9. Prinzmetal angina

10. Cryoglobulinemia

6. Other Circulatory Disorders

Bluish and numb fingertips

Acute conditions:

1. Orthostatic hypotension

2. Blue finger syndrome (a benign condition resembling embolism)

3. Achenbach syndrome (sudden limited bleeding in the finger)

4. Arterial embolism

5. Hammer hand syndrome

Chronic causes:

6. Congestive heart failure

7. Atherosclerosis

8. Vasculitis including Buerger's disease (in young male smokers)

9. Acrocyanosis

10. Blood disorders: anemia, polycythemia, arterial or venous thrombosis

7. Skin-Related Disorders

Redness, peeling, cracks, numbness in the fingertips

Acute causes:

1. Burns

2. Frostnip, frostbite and chilblains

3. Snake bites

4. Allergy to poison oak or ivy

5. Allergic reaction to garlic or tulip bulbs

6. Felon - painful bacterial infection of the fingertip

7. Herpetic whitlow

Chronic conditions:

8. Callus

9. Fingertip eczema

10. Frictional dermatitis

8. Foods and Toxins

1. Chronic caffeine intoxication

2. Heavy drinking may increase the risk of Raynaud's phenomenon

3. Smoking (nicotine) can constrict blood vessels and trigger Raynaud's phenomenon

4. Inky caps ingested along with alcohol may trigger vomiting, diarrhea and numbness in limbs

5. Ciguatera poisoning after eating big tropical fish, such as barracuda or tuna

6. Shellfish poisoning

7. Infestation with fish tapeworm

8. Methanol or ethylene glycol ingestion

9. Chronic arsenic, gold, lead, mercury or thallium poisoning

10. Poisoning with organophosphates (pesticides), warfare nerve gases (sarin, soman).

9. Respiratory Disorders

1. Severe bacterial pneumonia

2. Viral or atypical pneumonia

3. Pulmonary embolism

4. Lung edema

5. Cystic fibrosis

6. Lung cancer

7. Chronic bronchitis

8. Emphysema

9. Asthmatic attack

10. Obstructive sleep apnea

10. Other Causes

Acute symptoms:

1. Hypoglycemia (in diabetics)

2. Hyperventilation (caused by anxiety, fever, heavy exercise) resulting in respiratory alkalosis and temporary hypocalcemia

3. Other metabolic disorders: hypokalemia (in starvation, anorexia), hyperkalemia (ingestion of large amounts of potassium chloride), hypomagnesemia (in alcohol withdrawal)

4. Migraine aura

5. Anaphylactic reaction

Chronic symptoms:

6. Fibromyalgia

7. Neurofibromatosis

8. Radiation exposure (breast cancer treatment)

9. Pheochromocytoma (adrenal tumor that secretes epinephrine)

10. Warfare gases (sarin, soman, tabun)

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bluish and possibly numb fingertips due to low levels of oxygen in the bloodRaynaud's phenomenon: white and blue fingertipsProlonged leaning on the handlebars may cause numbness of the pinky finger.After chilblains, numbness in the fingers may persist for several days
Bluish and possibly numb fingertips due to low levels of oxygen in the blood
Bluish and possibly numb fingertips due to low levels of oxygen in the blood
Raynaud's phenomenon: white and blue fingertips
Raynaud's phenomenon: white and blue fingertips
Prolonged leaning on the handlebars may cause numbness of the pinky finger.
Prolonged leaning on the handlebars may cause numbness of the pinky finger.
After chilblains, numbness in the fingers may persist for several days
After chilblains, numbness in the fingers may persist for several days

Everyone is invited to share his or her experience.

Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)