Can anxiety cause my fingernails to turn blue? (+How to cope)

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Page last updated: 5/09/2022

This article will discuss if anxiety can lead you to experience blue fingernails. It will explain why this can happen, and the best ways to cope.

Can anxiety cause my fingernails to turn blue? 

Yes, it is possible that anxiety can cause your fingernails to turn blue,  but this isn’t a sign of anxiety that should be taken lightly, and as it happens, you must look for medical help. 

Along with the blue fingernails, you should also look for help if your lips turn blue, if you have chest pain or pressure, or if you have intense difficulty breathing.

Know that it may be more common to experience blue fingernails when you are going through a panic attack, which can often mean that your anxiety levels are extremely high. So let’s understand a little more about what is a panic attack.

What is a panic attack?

A panic attack is when your level of anxiety vets extremely high, and you can experience the symptoms acutely for a few minutes, and sometimes even longer. The panic attack can often be triggered by a stressful situation, and anxiety trigger, or due to an unknown reason.

When a person is experiencing a panic attack they can feel like they don’t have control over their bodies, and minds. Aside from that, they can experience many other symptoms such as chest pressure, dizziness, feeling like they are choking, or dying.

You can also feel hot flashes, cold, or nausea, your heart will beat fast, and your breathing can become short or shallow. You may experience sweating, shaking, or trembling, and your hands and feet can feel numb or tingling. Some people during a panic attack may also experience vertigo.

Although there is no cure for panic attacks, it is possible to treat them. People will often go to therapy and take medication, which can help with the intensity of the panic attack symptoms. But now let’s understand why anxiety can lead you to experience blue fingernails.

Why does anxiety make my fingernails blue? 

When you are feeling anxious, you will likely be extremely stressed, and the high levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, and adrenaline will often impact your body.

When you experience a panic attack, that can make your fingernails turn blue, your heart rate will be higher, your breathing may become faster, and your blood pressure will also be higher, which means that the blood will be circulating in your body faster.

But as anxiety puts your body through the fight or flight response, it will focus on getting you out of the dangerous situation. 

In that, the blood will go through muscles, and areas of your chest more intensely, and that can make you feel the tingling sensation on your hand and feet. Because of the less circulation of blood, your fingernails can become blue.

It is important to keep in mind that even though that is something that can happen, it is not something that should be taken lightly. Not having enough blood circulating through your fingers, to the point your fingernails turn blue is a serious thing, and as said before you should look for an emergency room right away.

Aside from that, there are other ways you can cope with the panic attack, and anxiety itself to prevent you from experiencing blue fingernails, let’s discuss what they are.

How can I cope with blue fingernails caused by anxiety? 

When you experience blue fingernails because of anxiety, or a panic attack it is not only important that you look for a doctor. But it may also be important that you learn how to deal with your anxiety, and with the panic attacks in themselves.

As you are going through a panic attack, it is hardly impossible to distract yourself from it. All your focus may be on this moment. 

What you can do is try to breathe, and reassure yourself that this will pass, in the same way as other panic attacks have passed before. In a while, the panic attack will likely subside, and you will be able to feel calmer.

But it is also important that you care for the conditions, such as anxiety, that can make it easier for you to develop panic attacks. To do that, you may need to look for professional help. 

A therapist will likely help you talk about your emotions, and will allow you to learn what has been making you so anxious. You might understand your triggers better, and will even learn to deal with them more positively.

Aside from that, sometimes it may be important that you look for a psychiatrist. This doctor that specializes in mental health will be able to prescribe you medication whenever it is necessary. 

To cope with anxiety, and reduce your chances of a panic attack, you should also try to take care of what you eat or drink. Try to avoid caffeine, sugar, and alcohol since they can make your anxiety worse.

You should also try to exercise since it is a proven way to reduce your stress levels and release tension. Practicing meditation can also aid in that, and it will allow you to center more on your breathing, and your surroundings rather than those racing thoughts anxiety brings.

To deal with your stress levels, it may also be important to focus on doing things you enjoy, and talking about how you feel with your friends and family members since it will not only allow you to vent but also to maybe look at things from a different perspective.

Can anxiety cause my fingernails to turn blue? (+How to cope)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Can anxiety cause my fingernails to turn blue?

Does anxiety have a cure? 

No, anxiety doesn’t have a cure. That is because there is a genetic aspect to anxiety that won’t be changed even if the person goes through treatment. So when the person is feeling better, it is not possible to say that anxiety won’t ever happen to them again.

But it is important to keep in mind that anxiety can get better. If you go through the proper treatment chances are that little by little you will discover the root of your anxiety, what triggers it, and develop better strategies to cope with it causing it to take less from you.

One thing that is important for you to keep doing, even when you are already feeling better, is to keep caring for your mental health. It is only through this care that you will be able to prevent yourself from going through a relapse.

What are the most common symptoms of anxiety? 

Anxiety can affect the person in many ways as it leads you to manifest emotional and physical symptoms. But you should keep in mind that not everyone will manifest anxiety in the same way, and the intensity of the symptoms can vary from one person to the next, or even from the moment the person is in.

When anxious, people will often realize that their heart is beating faster. They can also notice that their breathing pattern will change, and it can also become faster, or even shallow. You can begin to sweat, shake, and experience numbness on your hands and feet.

It is also possible that you feel dizzy and tired. Your gastrointestinal system will often be affected, and your sleeping patterns will change, causing you to develop insomnia. As for the emotional aspects of anxiety, the condition will likely lead you to constantly worry about matters.

In that, you can feel like the worst is about to happen, and be afraid. Those concerns are likely things you can’t control and will make it harder for you to focus on other things. And because anxiety brings such discomfort, at some point, it may cause you to avoid being in places that will trigger it.

What are the types of anxiety? 

Anxiety can happen in many ways, and the types of it are usually related to what triggers the person’s anxiety. 

For example, if someone has social anxiety, their anxiety will likely be triggered whenever they see themselves in a social situation. That is because they may be afraid of how people will perceive them, and if they will be judged.

There are also many types of phobias, which leads the person to feel anxious when faced with a particular situation, or object, for example, people that have phobias of snakes. Generalized anxiety disorder causes the person to feel anxious about most daily activities they do.

Panic disorder is a form of anxiety that can cause the person to develop panic attacks, and in that the person will feel a rush of anxiety all of a sudden that can last a few minutes, or even go on for days.

Separation anxiety is a form of anxiety that is often present in children. It is a fear that your loved ones may leave you.

Is anxiety in my head? 

No, anxiety is not all in your head. Some people around you may often say that you just needed to change your thought pattern, and see things differently so that anxiety would be gone, but it is not as simple as that.

Anxiety is not something one can control from one moment to the next. Learning how to deal with it takes time, effort, and treatment. So you won’t be able to change yourself that quick. 

It is important that you validate how you feel, and understand that anxiety is so real that causes you to even experience physical symptoms that can be very intense, and even debilitating depending on what is triggering it.

What is the 3 3 3 rule for anxiety?

The 3 3 3 rule for anxiety is an exercise you can do whenever you feel that anxiety is taking over you. You can do it as many times as it is necessary, anywhere you are. 

So when you feel that you need to care for your anxiety you should take a deep breath, and name three things that you can hear in your surroundings. After that, you should focus on naming three things you can see in the environment you are in, and finally, name three of your body parts.

Through this exercise, you will be able to focus more on the present and remove yourself from the negative thoughts that anxiety was bringing you, which will make you feel calmer.

Conclusion 

This article explained if anxiety can make your fingernails turn blue. It showed why this happens, and how to cope when it does.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.

References

https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/anxiety-disorders/panic-attack