The most common hand maladies in people with diabetes are carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis), limited joint mobility, and Dupuytren’s disease (contracture). Others are cold urticaria and diabetic hand syndrome.

“Thickening of tissues in palms and fingers can inhibit movement. Scientists still aren’t sure why diabetes increases the risk for hand problems, but there are some theories. The conditions all appear to be related to the overproduction of collagen, a fibrous protein that makes up tendons, joints, ligaments, and other connective tissues in the hand and elsewhere in the body. ‘One of the best-known problems in diabetes is called collagen glycation,’ says David Gorman, MSc, PhD, assistant professor of biochemistry and surgery at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. ‘In people with diabetes, the collagen can get covered in glucose molecules, which some suspect causes a thickening of the tissue.’”

“Cold urticaria is a condition that affects the skin. Signs and symptoms generally include reddish, itchy welts (hives) and/or swelling when skin is exposed to the cold (i.e., cold weather or swimming in cold water). This rash is usually apparent within 2-5 minutes after exposure and can last for 1-2 hours.”


Genetic and Rare Diseases. “Cold urticaria,” NIH (May 11, 2020). (accessed on 8/2/2020).

Noftall, Christopher. “What Is Diabetic Hand Syndrome?,” Diabetes Daily (October 13, 2016). (accessed on 8/2/2020).

Berg, Erika Gebel, PhD. “Common Hand Disorders in Diabetes,” Diabetes Forecast (November 2013). (accessed on 8/2/2020).