Fingers white, blue, red and painful in the cold? You could be suffering from
More common in women, this is the name given to a sequence of colour changes
observed in the fingers and toes (and sometimes the earlobe and tip of nose)
when exposed to the cold. The smaller blood vessels in the extremities normally
constrict under cold conditions, but in those individuals suffering from
Raynaud's phenomenon, there is an exaggerated response. The sequence of colour
change is usually from white ->blue ->red. The colour change can be associated
with pain and tingling in the affected areas.
When very severe, the circulation to the fingers and toes can be permanently
affected and cause damage to the tissues.
In most sufferers the condition is relatively mild and can be helped by limiting
exposure to the cold and investing in good quality, fur-lined mittens (better
than gloves) and boots. Occasionally, drugs that improve the circulation may be
prescribed, however they can cause side effects.
Some people with Raynaud's phenomenon have underlying disease, but this is not
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