Hand and Foot blue in Babies

By | 4 March 2021

Hand and feet bruising in babies can be unusual for new mothers and fathers. Generally, when considering the skin of babies, pinkish skin colors come to mind. Although the changes in the skin color of tiny creatures that have just arrived in our world are not usually caused by alarming problems, they can be a sign of a serious health problem along with some other symptoms. Although it is common for babies to change color in certain parts of their bodies from time to time due to environmental factors, it is extremely important to know what to look for to analyze whether there is a more serious health problem.

Why Do Babies’ Hands and Feet Bruise?

The bruising of the hands or feet of babies can be caused by contact only with cold air, or it can be a disease or an emergency warning given by the body. Our heart pumps oxygen from the lungs into the blood, allowing it to spread throughout the body. This cycle can sometimes be interrupted for certain reasons. Knowing what to look for will help you take your steps more accurately.


Acrocyanosis is a state of bruising, usually of the hands, less often of the feet, as a result of the contraction of the small arteries that carry blood to the skin cells. It may cause hands and feet to turn purple or blue. It is a common condition especially in newborn babies and is extremely natural. The newborn baby adapts to the environment by sending the blood to the main life organs. The decrease in blood directed to the brain and heart in other organs causes the color change. When the body’s average circulation system returns to normal, purple or blue discoloration disappears.

As we mentioned, acrocyanosis is a temporary condition and it may reappear and disappear at times. What if this situation takes longer than necessary? Color changes in your little one can be alarming. In such cases, it is extremely important to know what to look for.

There are two types of acrocyanosis. In situations that cause acrocyanosis, this is determined according to two different situations.

As we mentioned before, occasional blueing and bruising in newborn babies may cause primary acrocyanosis. It is generally harmless and passes spontaneously when the temperature is provided. There may be bluing and bruising as the low temperature in the hospital constricts the blood vessels. Just as the exposed parts of our body change color in cold weather, this is also true for little babies. For them, even small temperature differences can trigger this.

Secondary Acrocyanosis

Secondary Acrocyanosis is a condition that should be taken seriously. Generally, this situation manifests itself with body aches and signals underlying health problems. Secondary Acrocyanosis may also turn purple to only one foot or hand. Therefore, paying attention to this situation while checking your baby can help you take early measures. This condition can be signs of serious health problems such as infections, blood diseases, or cancer.

Acrocyanosis shows different symptoms as well as purple spots on the hands and feet. Some of these symptoms are:

  • Slow Blood Flow
  • Changing Heart Rate
  • Swelling in Hands and Feet
  • Cold Skin
  • Sweating Hands and Feet

Generally, acrocyanosis symptoms normalize as you keep your baby warm, even if the appropriate temperature is provided, and if normalization does not occur and there are blue or purple hands with these symptoms, you can contact your doctor and take the necessary precautions.


If there is bruising or blueing in other parts of the body as well as the mouth and face contour, it may indicate cyanosis as an indication of insufficient oxygen intake. Oxygen is what makes blood turn red, and oxygen-free red blood cells turn blue in color and are called cyanosis. This situation can have serious consequences. Seek medical assistance immediately.

Some conditions that can cause cyanosis:

  • Baby’s Continuous Crying
  • Baby Dehydration
  • After The Baby Wakes Up
  • After Baby Feeding
  • Diaper Contamination or Stimulation of the Intestines


If a spot is seen in addition to hand and foot bruising in babies, it may be an indication of the presence of circulatory problems, infection, heart problems. This situation can be seen frequently in premature and sick babies. If you see these symptoms together, you can contact your doctor and take the necessary precautions.

Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’s Disease is the body’s overreaction to environmental and psychological factors. Hands and feet can be very sensitive to cold and stress. Even in the wind, hands and feet may hurt and change color. Raynaud’s disease is not a cause for concern and most of it does not affect the quality of life. However, Raynaud’s disease is associated with illness, injury, and even a drug side effect.


There may be a purple spot or a bruise-like formation on your baby’s foot or leg area. Although it is usually as simple as a bruise, it can be a symptom of meningitis. Meningitis is a serious disease that usually creates scars such as pins, rash, and bruises and endangers life.

Some of the symptoms of meningitis are:

  • Swollen, tight purple spots or spots
  • High fever
  • The baby is lethargic, reacts late, and has difficulty waking up
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Debris
  • Diarrhea
  • Shake
  • Pain Discomfort
  • Cold Hands and Feet
  • Blemished Skin
  • Pale or Dull Color
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Make Sound Continuous
  • High-pitched Long Crying

When these conditions are observed, immediate medical attention is required. You should contact the nearest healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do New-Born Babies’ Hands and Feet Stay Purple or Blue?

The appearance of the hands and feet of babies who have just opened their eyes to the world in purple shades may not indicate an abnormal situation until the first 24-48 hours. This situation is not a permanent condition in newborn babies. If this situation is observed with other symptoms or if the bruise continues for more than 24-48 hours, you should contact your doctor.

Also, color changes in hands and feet can be observed in newborn babies after showering, in cold weather, and in temperature changes. Once the proper temperature is provided, the situation will return to normal.

Does Body Color Change When Babies Cry?

It is normal for babies to appear colorless when crying. Since crying prevents the necessary oxygen from spreading to the body, it can cause a color change in blood cells. This is the reason why your baby cries. During prolonged crying, your baby may be trying to reveal discomfort in his body. If you are facing an unusually long cry, do not hesitate to seek help.

Is It Normal For My Baby’s Legs To Change Color While Sitting On My Arms?

If your baby’s legs turn blue when you hold your baby or sit on the carrier, the places where you apply pressure are likely putting pressure on the veins in the leg. You will observe that the color returns to normal in a short time by changing the position of the baby in your arms and relaxing his legs. If in the carrier, make sure that the bends do not pinch the leg area and rearrange the belt buckles. The problem will be solved after the location in the carrier becomes a comfortable area.

Hand and foot bruising in babies is usually not a cause for concern, but it can also be a harbinger of a serious problem. In such cases, it is very important to observe your baby well and to be aware of other symptoms. If the color change does not improve, worsens, or is accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms, feel free to call your healthcare professional for further assistance and instructions.