Raynaud’s disease (Ray-NOSE) causes certain areas of your body, such as your fingers and toes, to feel numb and cold in response to cold temperatures or stress. In Raynaud’s disease, the small arteries that supply your skin become narrow and restrict blood flow to the affected areas (vasospasm).
Women are more likely than men to have Raynaud’s disease, also known as Raynaud’s or Raynaud’s phenomenon or syndrome. It seems to be more common in people who live in colder climates.
Treatment for Raynaud’s disease depends on how severe it is and whether you have other health problems. For most people, Raynaud’s disease is non-disabling, but it can affect the quality of your life.
Hands affected by Raynaud’s disease
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The signs and symptoms of Raynaud’s disease include:
Cold fingers or toes
Changes in the color of your skin in response to cold or stress
Numbness, tingling, or sharp pain when you warm up or relieve stress
During a Raynaud attack, the affected areas of the skin usually turn white. Then they often turn blue and feel cold and numb. As you warm up and your blood circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red, throb, tingle, or swell.
Although Raynaud’s disease most commonly affects your fingers and toes, it can affect other areas of your body as well, such as the: B. Your nose, lips, ears, and even your nipples. After the warm-up, it may take 15 minutes for normal blood flow to return to the area.
Doctors don’t fully understand the cause of Raynaud’s seizures, but the blood vessels in the hands and feet seem to overreact to cold temperatures or stress.
Blood vessels in spasm
With Raynaud, the arteries in your fingers and toes become narrow and briefly restrict the blood supply when exposed to cold or stress. Over time, these small arteries can thicken slightly, which further restricts blood flow.
Cold temperatures are most likely to trigger an attack. Cold is the most likely trigger when putting your hands in cold water, taking something out of a freezer, or being in cold air. In some people, emotional stress can trigger an episode.
Connective tissue diseases. Most people with a rare disease that causes the skin to harden and scarify (scleroderma) have Raynaud’s disease. Other diseases that increase Raynaud’s risk include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome.
Diseases of the arteries. These include plaque build-up in the blood vessels that supply the heart, a disorder that causes the blood vessels in the hands and feet to become inflamed, and a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs.
Carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition involves pressure on a major nerve in your hand, causing numbness and pain in the hand, which can make the hand more sensitive to cold temperatures.
Repeated exposure or vibration. Long periods of typing, playing the piano, or similar movements, and using vibrating tools such as jackhammers can cause overuse injuries.
Smoke. Smoking narrows the blood vessels.
Injuries to hands or feet. Examples are a wrist fracture, surgery, or frostbite.
Primary Raynaud’s risk factors include:
Sex. More women than men are affected.
Age. Although anyone can develop the disease, Raynaud’s primary disease often begins between the ages of 15 and 30.
Weather. The disorder is also more common in people who live in colder climates.
Family history. Having a first-degree relative – a parent, sibling, or child – with the disease appears to increase your risk for primary Raynaud’s disease.
To prevent Raynaud’s attacks:
Bundle outside. If it’s cold, put on a hat, scarf, socks and boots and two layers of mittens or gloves before going out. Wear a coat with tight-fitting cuffs to wrap your gloves or mittens and prevent cold air from getting into your hands.
Also use chemical hand warmers. Wear earmuffs and a face mask if the tip of your nose and earlobes are sore.