Raynaud’s disease is a rare disorder of the blood vessels, usually in the finger and toes. It causes the blood vessels to narrow when you are cold. When this happens, blood can’t get to the surface of the skin. However, affected areas turn white and blue. When the blood flow returns, the skin turns red and throbs or tingles. In severe cases, loss of blood flow can cause sores or tissue death. Finally, the blood vessels reopen, causing a local ‘ flushing’ phenomenon, which turns the digit red. This three-phase color sequence( white to blue to red) most often upon exposure to cold temperatures, is characteristic of RP. Raynaud’s phenomenon most frequently affects women, especially in the second, third, or fourth decades of life.
There are two main types of conditions.
Primary Raynaud’s- this is the most common and tends to be less severe than secondary Raynaud’s.
Secondary Raynaud’s- caused by an underlying disease, condition, or another factor.
Cold fingers or toes.
Color changes in the skin.
Fingers and toes feel tingly.
An attack of Raynaud’s is usually triggered by exposure to cold or emotional stress. When a person is exposed to cold, his or her body response is to slow the loss of heat. However, the body does this by causing the blood vessels that control blood flow to the surface of the skin to move blood from the surface arteries to the vein deeper in the body. For people who have Raynaud’s, however, this normal body response is intensive by contractions of small blood vessels that supply blood to the finger and toes. In some cases, this causes the arteries of the fingers and toes to collapse. This can result in skin discoloration.
Dressing for the cold in layers and wearing gloves usually are effective in dealing with mild symptoms of Raynaud’s. Medications are available to treat more severe forms of the condition. The goals of treatment are to:
Reduce the number and severity of attacks.
Prevent tissue damage.
Treat the underlying disease.
Medication- depending on the cause of the symptoms medications might help. Therefore, to widen blood vessels and increase blood flow, the doctor might prescribe
• Calcium channel blockers- These drugs help to heal skin ulcers on the fingers or toes.
• Vasodilators- include the high blood pressure drug losartan and erectile dysfunction medication.
Surgeries- nerve surgery sympathetic nerves in the hands and feet control the opening and narrowing of blood vessels in the skin. However, this surgery, if successful might lead to fewer and shorter attacks.
Lifestyle and home remedies.
- A variety of steps can decrease Raynaud’s attacks and help you feel better.
- Avoid smoke.
- Control stress.
- Avoid rapidly changing temperatures.