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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes pale skin, sweating and purple discoloration of the hands?

Answered by
Dr. Dariush Saghafi


Practicing since :1988

Answered : 2429 Questions

Posted on Tue, 6 Sep 2016 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: A friend just called me. Said her husband just suffered an episode in which he developed a glazed look in his eyes, turned pale, was sweating, and his palms turned purple.
Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi 21 minutes later
Brief Answer:
May have had a vasovagal attack or something else.

Detailed Answer:
Good afternoon. Thank you for the description of the patient's episode.

Your friend's husband may have suffered a COMPLEX PARTIAL SEIZURE or more likely a VASOVAGAL EVENT which is when a sudden drop in blood pressure occurs which can be due to dehydration, medication side effects, medication interactions, infections in the bloodstream, hypoglycemia, insulin reactions, and a whole host of other things.

When that happens there is usually a brief loss of awareness and often times people go down, and briefly lose consciousness, with jerking movements which appear to be a seizure but really are not. The patient will usually come back after a few seconds and be completely oriented and ready to keep doing what they were doing before it all happened. In a true seizure episode the patient can also come back after a few seconds of staring but they usually don't have the massive sweating, changes in color or becoming pale.

If he started any new blood pressure medication or if they increased the dose of anything that could make any blood pressure medication he is taking act even more robustly then, that is likely the problem and to fix it he'll need to see the doctor that prescribed everything for a readjustment of the medications.

If I've satisfactorily addressed your question then, could you do me the kindest of favors by CLOSING THIS QUERY and be sure to include some fine words of feedback and a 5 STAR rating to our transaction if you feel the response has helped you? Again, many thanks for posing your question.

Do not forget to contact me in the future at: for additional questions, comments, or concerns having to do with this topic or others.

This query has utilized a total of 19 minutes of professional time in research, review, and synthesis for the purpose of formulating a return statement.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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