Cold hands- itchy?

When I was a little kid sometimes we’d play outside too long in the snow. When we finally came back in our feet were so cold they would would itch as they warmed back up. Sometimes to the point of bringing tears.

Well, now at 57, I experienced that last night after kayaking too long with out wearing gloves. As I was driving home the palms of my hands started to itch and then my fingers, not to the point of tears, but to the point of some four letter words! (What the _ _ _ k!) It finally went away after about 1/2 hour.

My hands weren’t really that cold while paddling? I really hate to wear gloves, but I think I’ll do the glove thing for the rest of the season. Here in Northern Wisconsin I’ve got about 6 weeks tops till everything is froze in.

My question to you all is:

How can you warm your hands back up to prevent this itching thing?

I can remember my mother having my brother & I put are little, beet read feet into a few inches of cool water in the bathtub. I can’t remember if it really helped though?

don’t let them get cold
The cause of the itching is blood returning to your hands. The blood warms up your cold hands and it feels like itching or burning.

The way you prevent the itching feeling is to keep your hands warm. One way to keep your hands warm is to wear gloves. Another way is to keep your core warm so your body doesn’t feel the need to protect by keeping more blood in your core (more blood in your core = less blood in your arms/legs). A third step to keeping hands warm is to keep your arms insulated so there is less cooling between your core and your hands.

Gloves with a heater pack in them

– Last Updated: Oct-25-08 11:38 AM EST –

I know what you mean about the itchy-cold. I think the solution is to keep them warm in the first place.

I have a similar problem with my hands (and feet) getting so cold they go numb and white when paddling (it's some syndrome but I can't recall the name of it).

But if they never get cold, it doesn't happen. I wear neoprene gloves, and I put one of those dollar hot-packs in the palm of each glove to keep my hands warm. Works for me. Also works in neoprene boots to keep the feet warm.

sounds like you experienced…
frostbite as a kid. Years ago I went for an inadvertant swim in freezing temps and got a good frostbite on 2 fingers on my left hand and a couple of toes on my left foot. Whenever I go out in the winter now those extremities will burn when exposed to cold, or after they warm back up. I’m not sure anything will prevent the burning, itchy feeling as your hands warm back up.

Raynauds’ Disease NM

Similar to
my experience with digits that have experienced some frostbite in my younger years, just maybe more extreme in terms of the time it took for the itching to subside. Itching in that instance means that circulation to the area is improving. Sometimes I get itching in an area that was stiff after someone has used a massaging machine on it.

But that’s just about what it is. What it probably means is that you have to get some good gloves and use them from here on out to keep the situation from getting any more extreme.

Suggestion - Deep Sea or similar dry gloves from scuba shops, or lighter weight gloves with pogies.

I would call it more like shap tingling
than itching. Probably it is related to nerve endings that have gone without enough oxygen for a while, because the capillaries that supply oxygen have been constricted.

Raynauds was mentioned. Having the tingling alone is not indicative of Raynauds, but you should watch for other signs such as having your fingers blanch or get blue in cold rooms or other environments less stressful than the river.

I have borderline Raynauds, and gloves alone are not enough. It is necessary to dress overall so warmly that your body is almost forced to run blood through the fingers to keep the body core cool. It may also help to do aerobic exercise sufficiently long and intense to force strong dilation of the peripheral blood vessels of the fingers. Probably these vessels are not “exercised” enough in our air-conditioned world.

I have treated a guy with severe Raynauds using biofeedback. However, the same rule applies. Your body must be clothed enough to force your finger vessels to dilate. If you “mentally” dilate them when not so dressed, you may find that you feel chilled!

After rolling or swimming in cold water I get the same feeling in my face, often while driving home from the lake. It clearly has something to do with warming up, but it’s never bothered me enough to make me think I should do something about it.

That’s it! Thanks! (nm)

Another same.
It happens to me the worst when I am strapping the two boats on and off the car in 35 degree weather like yesterday morning.

Then it hurts like hell for five or ten minutes when I put them in front of the heater vents in the car until they finally warm up.

May be the cure would to stop being a gentleman, and make the “bride” load and tie them down, while I sit in the nice warm car.

Mine have acted like that for as long as I can remember, but at this age I can’t remember to far back so that is why I probably keep putting up with it.



there you have it…

like Jackl I have issues more getting out of the water and loading up the car.

My Renaud’s is diagnosed and drug induced: Nothing much to be done about it!

Pogies and gloves help and as I am using a dry suit body core issues never happen.

I find that when I exit the boat, stop paddling and my arms are not doing what they do on the water things happen. Raise them above your head to secure a boat to the roof of the car and the hands are above the heart, (less circulation) the water evaporates (Evaporent Refrigeration, just like your AC or Freezer)

Some BP pills and heart meds compound this.

The BP med I am on should tend to
produce vasodilation. It’s Diovan, and has been low in side effects. I haven’t noticed anything striking, but I’m hoping the Diovan will cut down on the borderline Raynauds I get in winter months.

How cold was it?
How windy was it?

Lots of good opinions on the board, but let’s just step back a bit and try to figure out the circumstances.

Loading boat
My hands weren’t cold till loading my boat. I put on some gloves last night before laoding and no itch on the way home! Thanks you guys


Sounds like chilblains
My Mac’s dictionary defines it as “a painful, itching swelling on the skin, typically on a hand or foot, caused by poor circulation in the skin when exposed to cold.” Derived from mid-16th century CHILL + BLAIN.

If poor circulation causes it, then keep warm and keep those parts moving when you’re out there.