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Old 09-24-2002, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: London, UK
Posts: 493
Why are the palm of my hands sometimes mottled pink / white?


I've been wondering about this for at least 20 years...

Sometimes, and for no obvious reason, the palms of my hands become mottled pink and white instead of the normal continuous pink.

I just noticed it again now as I got up to make coffee.

What's up with that?

Many thanks,

Old 09-24-2002, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Philly
Posts: 489
That happens to me too. I call it "meat hands" because it looks a little like ground beef. I have no clue what causes it.
Old 09-24-2002, 12:58 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 258
Put me on the list of those who've been caught red-and-white-handed.

I don't have any idea why it happens, either, but I'll follow this thread with interest.

Doctors? Any input? Qadqop the Mercotan? You out there?
Old 09-24-2002, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 221
This happens to me too, but it seems to happen only when my hands are cold. I always figured it had something to do with blood vessels contracting to conserve heat.
Old 09-24-2002, 01:09 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bedrock
Posts: 26,079
Excessive masturbation.
Old 09-24-2002, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 438
It seems to only happen to me when I get my heart rate jumping; I think it has something to do with circulation.
Old 09-24-2002, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bedrock
Posts: 26,079
Old 09-24-2002, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 249
FWIW, my palms are like this all the time, as are (to a lesser degree) the undersides of my arms. I've never really thought about it.
Old 09-24-2002, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 944
Happens to my hands and feet. Never really gave it a thought until now...
Old 09-24-2002, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Chicago
Posts: 8,519
It happens to my hands if I keep them down at my sides for a few minutes. It's just blood pooling.
Old 09-24-2002, 10:47 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mars (pennsylvania, duh)
Posts: 77
I recently brought up this subject to a specialist docter in Connecticut, because I have noticed it on my hands at most times, but in school it sumtime gets even darker and turns purple-ish and white mottled on my whole body, with the exception of my face (a kid in 3rd grade once exclaimed in gym class that im turning into a mutant)

Anyhow, he said he sees it often in his pediatric lyme patients, but i forget if he explained why or not. But anyway, I see it on my extremities most of the time, specifically my hands, and i dont know if this is just coincidence or not, but they are usually cold when it happens. Not to say that the room temperature is cold, but that when it happens, it <i> feels</i> cold.

I still see it on my hands everyday, but ive seen less of it as my lyme treatments progress

Old 09-24-2002, 10:58 PM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: bit bucket
Posts: 467
Oh great another thing to obsess about hypochondriac style.
Old 09-25-2002, 05:43 AM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Ames Iowa
Posts: 2,046
Happens to me too, sometimes after a change in temperature, sometimes randomly. Although I'm not a doc, I have a medical view on it.

I went to the doctor two winters ago after getting frostbite from climbing the metal ladders on the dome of Beardshear Hall in the middle of the night in the dead of winter without gloves. My hands happened to have the mottled look, with a big red spot from the frostbite on one hand. I showed her the spot, and her first question was (paraphrased):

"Why is your hand spotty like that? Is it always like that?"

I said no, not always, that it would go away. That, and the interesting frostbite (which I wasn't sure was frostbite, which is why I went to the doc in the first place) apparently warranted calling in another doctor and a student so that they could look at it too.

What I'm getting at, in a somewhat roundabout way, is that someone who should have had decent medical training didn't even know what it was or was caused by.

I'm sure QtM has something, though, being the Cecil of the MDs.
Old 09-27-2002, 06:17 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: London, UK
Posts: 493
Ok, so it seems temperature or activity related... and yet, to me, it just sometimes happens while I'm sitting in a chair in a thermally constant room.

Blood pooling? Ok, but why does it happen and can I be certain it's 100% harmless?

Bit of a mystery... I'm going to shamelessly bump this in the hope that QtM will happen by with the definitive answer.
Old 09-27-2002, 06:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 11
This one has got to be answered. Otherwise I'll lose all faith in the medical world.
Old 09-27-2002, 06:34 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The Time of Legends
Posts: 2,983
Add me in as another Doper with "meat hands". I'd WAG that this is a blood circulation in the extremities thing caused by stress. The same reason your hands might feel cold in a warm room. Your brain needs more blood to deal with the stress and so "steals" blood from the hands & feet (cold feet syndrome).

My high school psych teacher had us do an experiment once. He gave each of us these little mercury thermometers and had us hold them between thumb and forefinger and note the temperature after a couple of minutes. Then he asked us to close our eyes, relax, and he read off several passages like those a hypnotist might use to get his "patients" into the right state of mind. After about 5-10 minutes of this he had us open our eyes and note any changes in temperature. I had the highest change of all with a 10 degree increase. Yee-haw! My cold hands problem was solved (for the most part). The mottling has gone as well. Anytime my hands get cold now (outside of actual cold temperatures) I just do the relax thing, which I assume actually relieves some of the stress. I can get my hands so warm now that my wife says they can get uncomfortably hot.
Old 09-27-2002, 08:35 AM
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 21,881
Here's a WAG...I've read that this happens to babies because their bodies haven't adapted to regulating their body temperatures. Is it possible that adults might have the same reaction to temperature changes if their bodies are also poor at regulating their temperature? It happens to me, on the back of my hands too not just my palms, and my normal body temp is a bit lower than average- 98.1.
Old 09-27-2002, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 1,620
For those of you who get this:

Hold your hand downward, just hanging next to your body until the mottled pattern appears. Then, hold your hand vertically above your elbow with your palm facing you and watch the mottled pattern fade.

I assume that this is due to some sort of blood pooling or at least circulatory condition. It's fun to watch anyway.
Old 08-03-2016, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1
These are called bier spots
Old 08-03-2016, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Scandinavia
Posts: 1,646
"It is the first signs of turning into a zombie,", etc. Reported.

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