Why Do My Hands Turn Red When I Workout?

If you’ve ever wondered why your hands turn red when you workout, you’re not alone. Many people experience this phenomenon, and there are a few possible explanations. Keep reading to learn more about why your hands might turn red when you exercise and what you can do about it.


During a workout, many people may experience their fingers or palms turning red. This reddening of the hands can happen during and after exercise, especially resistance training. The scientific term for this condition is called exercise-induced vasodilation or hyperemia.

Exercise-induced vasodilation is caused by a sudden increase in blood flow to the veins of the hands, which causes them to become redder than usual. Exercise-induced vasodilation typically occurs when an individual is working out with heavy weights and under high-intensity conditions for longer than usual time periods. It can also be caused by an increase in body temperature due to increased physical exertion.

The hyperaemia that results from this phenomenon is not typically dangerous but it may cause some discomfort or mild pain in the affected areas due to swelling of the blood vessels — any sharp pain should be treated as soon as possible. Generally speaking, exercise-induced vasodilation will eventually go away on its own without treatment and will fade away once the exercise session has finished.

Possible Causes

Working out can cause your hands to turn red due to a number of possible reasons. It could be caused by heat, friction, and even contact with certain materials. It could also be a sign of a medical condition or an allergic reaction to something in your environment. In order to properly diagnose the cause of your red hands, we first need to understand the possible causes.

Allergic Reaction

One possible cause of your hands turning red when you workout is an allergic reaction. While sweat glands are usually responsible for the redness and itching in areas prone to sweating, an allergic reaction is known to sometimes be the cause. Allergic reactions can be triggered by a variety of things like dust, mites, pet dander or even certain perfumes or detergents. If your hands are only turning red when you exercise, it may be that something used in your gym envoirnment is causing irritation.

It’s important to note that if your hands turn red and swell up during exercise, you should discontinue exercise immediately and talk to your doctor about diagnosing any sensitivity or allergies. Allergies can range from mild irritation or dryness in certain areas of skin to full-blown hives that spread rapidly over large parts of the body and require immediate medical attention. In any case, identifying the underlying cause as soon as possible will help eliminate as many triggers as possible and help prevent future recurrence.

Exercise-Induced Vasodilation

One possible cause of redness in the hands during exercise is exercise-induced vasodilation. This occurs when the body responds to increased activity by expanding the diameter of tiny blood vessels (called arterioles) near the surface of the skin. This results in more oxygenated blood being delivered to these areas, which can cause discoloration due to extra circulation. In addition, vigorous exercise can lead to other biological responses, such as sweating and increased body temperature, that can contribute to this redness.

Exercise-induced vasodilation has been associated with both short-term workouts and long-term programs, such as endurance training or weightlifting routines, making it a potential response for athletes of all levels. The degree of vasodilation can vary from person to person and may be affected by age, fitness level and other factors such as cardiovascular health or allergies. To reduce excessive redness in the hands due to vasodilation during exercise, it is beneficial for individuals to engage in appropriate warmup activities prior to higher intensity workouts that may trigger this response.

Raynaud’s Syndrome

Raynaud’s Syndrome, also known as Raynaud’s phenomenon or Raynaud’s disease, is a medical condition that causes individuals to have reduced blood circulation to the extremities, such as the fingers, toes, earlobes and nose. This reduced blood flow leads to skin discoloration and sensitivity when exposed to extreme temperatures – such as when working out.

Signs and symptoms of Raynaud’s Syndrome can include episodes of reduced blood supply (coldness) in the skin of the affected areas — including white or blue coloration followed by redness and tingling feeling in response to warmth or stress. Other potential signs are numbness or pain in the affected areas during an attack. Generally, these episodes are not dangerous but they can be annoying and uncomfortable.

In some cases, a healthcare professional may order additional tests to determine if there is underlying cause for symptom such as conditions like Scleroderma or Lupus. It is important for those experiencing these symptoms to communicate their condition with their medical provider for further assessment.


Working out can be a great way to stay in shape, but it can bring along some unexpected issues. One of these issues is red hands, which is a common problem that many people experience during and after their workouts. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent your hands from turning red when you work out. Let’s take a look at some of the steps you can take to avoid red hands while exercising.

Wearing Gloves

Gloves are a great way to help prevent your hands from developing redness or irritation while you exercise. Wearing gloves can keep the sweat off of your hands and protect them from contact with rough surfaces, like exercise equipment. In addition, some gloves provide extra padding that can help protect your hands during activities like weight training or cycling. It’s important to choose gloves that fit correctly and provide enough coverage – they should cover the back of your hands, fingers and palms. Look for lightweight materials such as lycra or nylon that allow your skin to breathe and provide adequate protection without limiting mobility or agility. You may want to consider wearing form-fitting gloves lined with fleece material in cold weather as they offer both protection and warmth. Additionally, if you are working out in a public gym, wearing gloves can help protect you against germs and bacteria on shared equipment. Choosing the right pair of gloves can make a world of difference in overcoming redness during physical activity so take the time to find a pair that works best for you!

Keeping Hands Warm

When exercising outdoors in cold temperatures, it is important to keep your hands warm. Cold hands can cause muscles to spasm, making it difficult for the body to regulate temperature and increase blood flow. To prevent hand discomfort and redness, wearing warm gloves or mittens is recommended to create a barrier between your skin and the cold outdoors. Additionally, opting for lighter-weight gloves or mittens can also help with circulation without sacrificing insulation. For activities such as running, cycling, or hillwalking, wearing some kind of glove is essential in order to maintain an optimal level of hand warmth.

Moisturizing hands before going outside can also help prevent the uncomfortable redness caused by cold weather exposure. Wearing waterproof sunscreen on all exposed areas of the skin will protect against windburns that are common in cold climates. It is especially important if participating in winter sports or activities at high altitudes where temperatures tend to be lower than normal.

Staying hydrated and well-rested can also be helpful when trying to avoid uncomfortable hand redness due to working out in cold temperatures. Proper diet and nutrition prior to outdoor workouts will ensure that the body has enough energy reserves while exercising outdoors as well as during indoor workouts when possible. When dealing with constant exposure to colder climates during outdoor exercise routine, it is important to prioritize these precautions in order to effectively avoid unnecessary skin discomfort such as chapped hands and redness associated with them.

Avoiding Certain Substances

To prevent red hands during exercise, it is important to avoid certain substances like alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol can reduce blood flow, leading to a lower circulation in the hands, and caffeine induces vasoconstriction (narrowing of the blood vessels) which can make your hands even redder than before. Moreover, alcohol and caffeine can increase perspiration, further impacting the skin’s appearance when you work out. Likewise, drinking excessive amounts of water while exercising can cause redness in your hands from dilated capillaries that come from increased blood flow. It is best to drink only enough water to stay hydrated without overdoing it.

Smoking should also be avoided when trying to prevent reddening of the skin during exercise because tobacco smoke has been proven to cause inflammation in the skin which could make matters worse for your hand coloration concerns. Additionally, people prone to occasional flushing or persistent exercise-induced redness may have underlying medical conditions such as a connective tissue disorder or an autoimmune disorder – these should be discussed with a physician prior to engaging in any fitness program.

Supplemental use of anti-inflammatories – such as ibuprofen or aspirin – sometimes taken before working out may also contribute to inflamed hands while exercising; if this is suspected then medications should be suspended prior to activity and resumed after activity ends if necessary.


If you experience redness in your hands while working out then you may be suffering from a condition known as exercise-induced vasodilation. Vasodilation is the widening of blood vessels due to increased blood flow and can cause your skin to turn red and feel warm. Treatments for this condition can vary and the best course of action should be discussed with your healthcare provider.


Medication, in specifically through the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, can often help to reduce the symptoms you are experiencing. Depending on the severity and frequency of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend either an over-the-counter or a prescribed medication to help reduce inflammation and swelling in the affected area. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin are all common treatment options for muscle pain, swelling and inflammation. For those with more severe symptoms, steroidal medications may be prescribed by your doctor. Additionally, applying a topical gel that contains analgesic herbs or capsaicin can also be effective in reducing pain levels. Lastly, if allergies are found to be the cause of your redness when working out it may be necessary to take allergy medication prior to beginning any physical activity.

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy is one of the most common and effective treatments for aching hands from overworking. Heat can help relax muscles and other soft tissues that often become sore after exercising. This can take the form of a hot bath, hot pad, heating pad or even warm towels placed directly on the affected area. Heat also helps reduce inflammation to soothe the discomfort of aching hands and wrists. Additionally, giving your hands an extra rub with a warm cloth can help bring relief as well. If you find that heat therapy is not providing adequate relief, consider adding light stretching exercises to your routine to increase flexibility in your hands and wrists.

Lifestyle Changes

In many cases, simply making some lifestyle changes can significantly alleviate red hands when working out. Some simple methods you can try include:
-Wearing light weight breathable fabrics for your workout clothing. Natural fabrics such as cotton allow the skin to ‘breathe’ and will reduce sweating in your hands.
-Reducing the intensity of your workout routine to allow more time for your body to adjust to new movements or poses.
-Ensuring that you have a slow gradual warm up and cool down period incorporated into your workout as this will help reduce blood flow/pressure in your hands.
-Staying hydrated by keeping yourself adequately supplied with water during your workouts will help with proper circulation of blood throughout the body and can reduce symptoms related to redness of the hands during exercise.
-Using yoga gloves or other specialized hand gear while working out can provide extra support against tough movements while also providing an essential cooling barrier between your skin and sweat produced from intense workouts.


In conclusion, it is common for your hands to turn red after exercise and this often occurs because of an increase in blood flow, particularly to the surface of your skin. This can be exacerbated by warm temperatures or high humidity levels, which can cause increased perspiration on your skin. Redness may also occur due to chafing and friction if you are using equipment or even if you’re barehanded. However, if persistent redness is a cause for concern it’s important to consult with a doctor as this could be a symptom of allergies or an underlying medical condition. Redness should quickly fade away once exercise has stopped, but proper hydration and prudence when engaging in any exercise regimen is still essential for health and well being.

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