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Cure For Chronic Cold Hands: Botox, Viagra

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Treatment for cold hands includes Botox and Viagra. (CBS)

Treatment for cold hands includes Botox and Viagra. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – On harsh winter days, many of us suffer from cold hands and simply put up with it.

But as CBS 2’s Mary Kay Kleist reports, for some people, it can be a sign of a serious health problem.

The bone-chilling cold and snow make it tough to stay warm this time of the year. It’s not easy to keep hands cozy. Especially right now, since the average daily temperature it at its lowest for the entire year.

TIPS: 10 Ways To Help Cold Hands

Having cold hands is part of your body’s natural response to regulate body temperature. But if you have persistent cold hands, it could be a warning sign of many different problems from heart or thyroid disease, to autoimmune problems. Cold hands can even be a side-effect of decongestants.

Dr. Nadara Sweiss, of the University of Chicago Medical Center, said: “If it takes more than 20 minutes to warm your hands then there is a problem.”

There are other signs: color changes in your fingers, especially white or blue, numbness or tingling and even pain.

Sarah Lindeman has Raynaud’s. It’s one of the most common causes of cold hands. It affects the flow of blood to the fingers.

“It started in one finger that turned purple, and it was colder to the touch than my other fingers,” she said.

Believe it or not, treatment for cold hands can involve a combination of two surprising drugs, Viagra and Botox.

Viagra is normally used for erectile dysfunction, and we think of Botox for getting rid of wrinkles, but both of these drugs can warm up hands.

“We give the patients those medications [and] we’re trying to … increase the blood flow to their hands,”
Dr. Ginard Henry, of the University of Chicago Medical Center, said.

Diana Merz has had Raynaud’s for 30 years. She says every year the symptoms get progressively worse and she avoids going out in the winter.

“A lot of pain and burning and tingling, I’m right handed, the circulation in my right hand is worse. So it’s effected my ability to do small hand tasks,” Merz said.

Within minutes of her first Botox treatment, Diana’s fingers lost the shade of blue and slowly returned to pink.

“I’m surprised at the color coming back so quickly,” Merz said. “The tingling in my middle finger in my right hand which was always there is gone.”

A few hours after the Botox, Diana said she actually was able to go outside and play catch with her dog with no pain at all. She said she’s already seeing and feeling a significant improvement.

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