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Raynaud’s Phenomena

Raynaud’s disease is associated with the narrowing of blood vessels, usually in the presence cold environments. The condition most commonly affects the fingers, toes, nose and ears.

There are a number of physical effects caused by the narrowing of the blood vessels, such as discolouration of the flesh (white, blue, red or all 3 colour changes) and a feeling of numbness, throbbing, burning and cold.

Women are more likely than men are to have the disorder. It’s more common in people who live in colder climates. Treatment of Raynaud’s disease depends on its severity and the presence or absence of associated conditions. For most people, Raynaud’s disease is more a nuisance than a disability.

What Causes Raynaud’s Phenomena?

Attacks of Raynaud’s disease can be caused by cold environments or simply by touching cold objects, however it is thought that stress may be a contributing factor. Severity of attacks can vary from time to time and different people can experience different severities and sensations, but the attacks usually only last a few minutes.

Symptoms of Raynaud’s Phenomena:

Raynaud’s disease is more than simply having cold hands and cold feet, and it’s not the same as frostbite. Signs and symptoms of Raynaud’s depend on the frequency, duration and severity of the blood vessel spasms that underlie the disorder.

Signs and symptoms include:

– Sequence of colour changes in your skin in response to cold or stress
– Numb, prickly feeling or stinging pain upon warming or relief of stress
At first during an attack of Raynaud’s, affected areas of your skin usually turn white. Then, the areas often turn blue and feel cold and numb, and your sensory perception is dull. The affected skin may look slightly swollen. As circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red, throb, tingle or swell. The order of the changes of colour isn’t the same for all people, and not everyone experiences all three colours.

Occasionally, an attack affects just one or two fingers or toes. Attacks don’t necessarily always affect the same digits. Although Raynaud’s most commonly affects your fingers and toes, the condition can also affect other areas of your body such as your nose, cheeks, ears and even tongue.
An attack may last less than a minute to several hours. Over time, attacks may grow more severe. People who have Raynaud’s accompanied by another disease may also have symptoms related to their underlying condition.

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