Raynaud's Phenomenon

Friday, May 21, 2010

Raynauds phenomenon is a disorder that affects the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, ears and nose. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Raynauds phenomenon is a condition in which cold temperatures or strong emotions cause blood vessel spasms that block blood flow to the fingers, toes, ears and nose.

Common causes include diseases of the arteries, drugs that cause narrowing of arteries, arthritis and autoimmune conditions and repeated injury.

Strong emotions or exposure to the cold causes the fingers, toes, ears or nose to become white, then turn blue. When blood flow returns, the area becomes red and then later returns to normal color.

Avoiding smoking and caffeine may help people with Raynauds phenomenon. Other things to avoid include medications that cause tightening or spasms of the blood vessels and exposure to cold in any form. You may be prescribed medications to relax the walls of the blood vessels.

Call your health care provider if your fingers change color and you do not know the cause, your fingers or toes turn black or the skin breaks, or you have a sore on the skin of your feet or hands.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.