What causes redness and warmth in hands and feet?

Symptom Database

Redness and warmth in the hands and feet can be a common occurrence for many individuals. While it may seem like a minor inconvenience, it is essential to understand the underlying causes of these symptoms and how to address them effectively. In this article, we will explore the various factors that can contribute to redness and warmth in the hands and feet, as well as provide valuable insights on managing and treating these symptoms.

1. Poor Circulation

One of the primary reasons for redness and warmth in the hands and feet is poor circulation. When blood flow to these extremities is compromised, it can result in a lack of oxygen and nutrients reaching the tissues, leading to redness and warmth. Poor circulation can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Peripheral artery disease

To improve circulation, individuals can incorporate regular exercise into their routine, quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight, and manage any underlying medical conditions.

2. Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’s disease is a condition that affects the blood vessels in the extremities, causing them to narrow and restrict blood flow. This can result in episodes of redness, warmth, and even pain in the hands and feet. Raynaud’s disease is often triggered by cold temperatures or emotional stress.

To manage Raynaud’s disease, individuals can:

  • Keep hands and feet warm in cold weather
  • Wear gloves and warm socks
  • Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures
  • Practice stress management techniques

3. Inflammation and Infection

Inflammation and infection can also contribute to redness and warmth in the hands and feet. Conditions such as cellulitis, a skin infection, can cause localized redness, warmth, and swelling. Inflammatory conditions like arthritis can also lead to these symptoms.

If redness and warmth are accompanied by pain, swelling, or other concerning symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention. Treatment for inflammation and infection may involve antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, or other targeted therapies.

4. Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to certain substances or medications can manifest as redness and warmth in the hands and feet. This can occur due to contact with an allergen or as a systemic reaction throughout the body.

If an allergic reaction is suspected, it is crucial to identify and avoid the trigger. Antihistamines or other medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms. Seeking medical advice is essential to determine the cause of the allergic reaction and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

5. Nerve Disorders

Some nerve disorders can cause redness and warmth in the hands and feet. Conditions like peripheral neuropathy, which affects the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, can result in abnormal sensations and changes in temperature perception.

Managing nerve disorders often involves treating the underlying cause and addressing symptoms. Medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications may be recommended to alleviate redness, warmth, and other associated symptoms.


Redness and warmth in the hands and feet can be caused by various factors, including poor circulation, Raynaud’s disease, inflammation and infection, allergic reactions, and nerve disorders. Understanding the underlying cause is crucial in managing and treating these symptoms effectively.

If you experience persistent or concerning redness and warmth in your hands and feet, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. By addressing the root cause and implementing lifestyle changes or medical interventions, individuals can find relief and improve their overall well-being.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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