The surprising reason why this woman's hand changed colour

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·1-min read

What could be considered an everyday problem has led to a woman’s hand changing colour.

The woman, 43, from the US city of Atlanta, presented herself to a neuromuscular clinic after six months of mild weakness in her left hand, according to her case published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

She also felt a tingling or burning sensation in her fingers and thumb.

The woman had carpal tunnel syndrome which is caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist.

The hand of a woman treated for carpal tunnel syndrome after receiving an injection. Her hand has changed colour.
This woman's hand changed colour temporarily after receiving treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Source: New England Journal of Medicine

Researchers didn’t say what caused this woman’s carpal tunnel though but they did treat her with an injection of steroid hormones.

She then told doctors she was feeling an “odd sensation”.

“Within five minutes after the injection, the skin overlying the affected thumb and fingers and adjacent palm extending to the palmar ulnar surface became red,” researchers wrote.

Doctors believe her skin changed colour due to irritation in the autonomic fibers which respond to a change in temperature or pain.

“Within 20 minutes, these changes resolved without intervention,” researchers wrote.

She followed up with doctors a month later and was fine.

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