Raynaud's disease is a disease usually affecting young woman and whose mode of occurrence is not currently explained. It is a chronic disorder with symptoms due to a sudden, but reversible, interruption of blood to the extremities of the body. Affected parts first become white and cold for a few minutes. Then the color turns blue (cyanosis) and pain occurs before circulation is restored spontaneously, starting with fingers that are always painful, insensitive, swollen and red. The most commonly affected extremities are the fingers and toes, but also the nose and earlobes. When these events occur in the aftermath of an identified cause, it is called Raynaud's phenomenon. However, if no cause is found formally, it is called Raynaud's disease. This is often triggered by an over-exposure to cold.
The symptoms of Raynaud's disease affecting the extremities are:
- a change in skin color, which passes from its typical color to white, blue and red;
- numbness, tingling or a loss of sensation;
- all of these symptoms re reversible.
To diagnose Raynaud's disease, the cause of Raynaud's syndrome must be eliminated by clinical examination and further investigations if possible. Blood tests will be considered as well as a capillaroscopy, an exam that allows the study of the skin's capillaries.
To address the occurrence of a "crisis" of Raynaud's disease, a progressive warming of the fingers allows for a faster resolution of symptoms. Aside from preventive measures, some drugs are sometimes used to promote blood circulation.
The occurrence of Raynaud's disease can be prevented by protection against the cold, a factor frequently implicated in the onset of the disease: Avoid excessive moisture, protect your hands by wearing gloves, and be wary of sudden changes in temperature.