Ulcers on the fingers and toes can be a sign of scleroderma
Raynaud's disease (Ray-nodes) means that the small blood vessels in the extremities such as the hands, feet, fingers or toes are over-sensitive to even the slightest changes in temperature, cold conditions and sometimes stress. This causes a Raynaud's attack, where the affected areas may change colour (but not always), from white, to blue, to red.
A Raynaud's attack can be very uncomfortable, and sometimes quite painful. It can also make everyday tasks, like buttoning a jacket or unzipping a purse, very difficult. Raynaud's symptoms generally affect the fingers and toes, but all extremities can be involved, including the hands, feet, ears, nose, lips, tongue and nipples. Raynaud's is a common condition thought to affect up to ten million people in the UK.
Raynaud's symptoms are:
A colour change in the extremities such as the hands or feet, often in response to cold conditions
Cold and numbness in the affected areas, such as the fingers and toes
Tingling or pain, especially as the circulation returns to the affected areas
There are two different types of Raynaud's: primary and secondary. Primary Raynaud's is usually less serious as the condition tends to be fairly manageable. People living with secondary Raynaud's will often experience more severe symptoms. Click here to find out about the causes of Raynaud's.
This is often a mild condition and there are ways to help manage the symptoms. People with primary Raynaud's usually have no other related complications, and will rarely go on to develop an additional problem.
If you have primary Raynaud's, it is important to see your GP if you are worried about the symptoms or any other health issues.
This means that Raynaud's is caused by another condition, usually an autoimmune disease like scleroderma or lupus. Secondary Raynaud's needs more investigation and more careful monitoring for complications like ulceration or sores.
If you notice a change in your symptoms or you have any other health concerns, it is important to discuss this with your GP, who may carry out some tests to rule out other conditions.
Take our test to find out if you may have the condition.