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Why do my finger joints become sore in winters?

Q: I am a 17 years old girl who has been getting sore finger joints during cold weather for the last 3 years. The joints of my fingers become stiff and the small white areas of skin around them becomes hard and quite sore to touch. What is wrong with my fingers?

A:From your description you could be having a condition called chilblains. This is part of a complex phenomenon where patient has symptoms on exposure to cold. Chilblains is best prevented by avoiding exposure to cold by keeping the fingers warm by wearing woolen mittens and stockings. The other conditions which may present like this come in a group of conditions called Raynaud's phenomenon which actually describes the presentation of blanching then blueness and then redness of fingers and toes following cold exposure. Since there are some medical conditions that can present with this problem it is good to have a physician examining you and exclude some of these rare conditions. Most of the time we may not get anything significant and it may just be simple chilblains. Only in case of severe symptoms like burning, itching, blister formation and break down of skin every time there is exposure to cold is drug therapy indicated. These medicines block the receptors that mediate the phenomenon. I don't think you need to worry so much other than getting a good medical check-up and protecting your fingers and toes from cold.

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