The Raynaud's condition (often seen in people with scleroderma) is a disorder that causes blood vessel spasms usually within the hands and feet resulting in discoloration, numbness, pins-and-needles, restricted movement, and skin changes. Circulatory spasms lead to decreased blood flow to areas such as the tips of the fingers and toes. There are two major types of the Raynaud's condition. The first is called “Raynaud's Phenomenon” which occurs spontaneously or from an obscure cause. The second is called “Raynaud's Syndrome” which is instigated by a pre-existing condition such as bad circulation, cold weather, stress, or problems with connecting tissue near the fingers or toes. Raynaud's is often seen in what is commonly referred to as frost-nip. When the fingers and toes are exposed to extremely cold temperatures, oxygen and blood flow a much lower thus causing discoloration, numbness, and swelling. Raynaud's almost usually results with the return of blood flow to the affected areas. When blood and oxygen are not able to quickly return to the fingers and toes, the deprived areas can being to die and become rotten (necrosis and/or gangrenous).
There are ways to prevent and live with the Raynaud's condition. Movement of the fingers and toes via the hands and feet will always promote circulation. Even something as simple as wiggling your toes and moving your fingers around can help pump blood into potentially affected areas. Avoid exposure cold and intense, prolonged vibrations. Drinking warm beverages, regular exercise, along with wearing multiple layers of clothing will help increase core temperature, thus lowering the risk of Raynaud's. Consumption of caffeine and tobacco negatively affect blood circulation throughout the body. Although it's better to stop using tobacco and caffeine all together, seriously cutting back on these two substances will result in countless amounts of positive health effects such as better circulation.
Below are the hands of a Healthmark patient who suffers from Raynaud's Phenomenon and poor circulation in both her hands and feet remaining at a temperature of 38-52° F
If you notice discoloration in your feet or hands it could be something a lot more serious than you think, contact the physicians at Healthmark Foot and Ankle for a quick, harmless examination today!
Media, Pennsylvania 610-565-3668
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania 610-933-8644