Why can feet/hands be cold, but still sweat?



Why can feet/hands be cold, but still sweat?

In: Biology

Your body has to try and keep your organs at a working temperature, so at various times it will do things to increase or decrease heat. If you’re too hot you will sweat. If you are too cold your hands and feet will lose blood flow because blood cools down as it moves down your limbs. If all the blood stays in your core you stay warm for longer.

But you **FEEL** temperature on your skin too. Only trouble is, you don’t actually have a thermometer in your skin.

You don’t “feel” temperature. You feel how much heat is leaving or entering your body. If a lot is leaving, you feel cold. If a lot is entering, you feel hot.

You can imagine a scenario where your body as a whole needs to cool down, and is sweating, but your legs could FEEL cold as that is where the heat is exiting your body into the environment.

I could be freezing cold, but still burn my leg on a soldering iron because too much heat would be entering at once.

This is why metal and liquids “feel cold”. Even at the same temperature as the air, they transfer heat better than air does. So when you touch a room temperature metal object, it quickly sucks heat from your body. (Feels cold). Where another object at the same temperature wouldn’t take so much heat, and wouldn’t “feel” cold, even at the same temperature.