Cyanosis is a condition in which the skin and mucous membranes assume a bluish colour. Associated with the lack of oxygen in the blood, it can occur suddenly or along with other symptoms developed over time without previously having obvious symptoms or details.


What kind of diseases can be associated with cyanosis?

Diseases that may be associated with cyanosis are the following:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • COPD
  • Intermittent claudication
  • Embolism
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Chilblains
  • Pulmonary infarction
  • Heart failure
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Sepsis
  • Septic shock
  • Raynaud's syndrome
  • Tetanus

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it is highly recommended to consult your doctor, in case of symptom’s persistence.


What is the therapy for cyanosis?

When cyanosis is due to exposure to cold or to Raynaud's syndrome (a condition in which the low temperatures block the flow of blood to the extremities of the body) the patient can avoid the condition by protecting themselves from the cold with heating and with appropriate clothing. In other cases it is better to consult a doctor because cyanosis can be a symptom of other serious medical problems.


When is most likely to contact your doctor in case of cyanosis?

Adults should consult a doctor or go to the emergency room when cyanosis is in question. It is also associated with breathing problems, chest pain, dark mucus production, increased headaches, fever, drowsiness or confusion.

If cyanosis is present in children, immediately seek help from a doctor, especially if the disorder is associated with respiratory problems (which can sometimes be associated with a kind of grunt) or severe tiredness. If a child turns his back up when sitting, has a soft body, dilates the nostrils to breathe, looses appetite and has trouble sleeping, a doctor should be contacted.