Raynaud's stages of capillary shut down
what is it?
The condition occurs because your blood vessels go into a temporary spasm, blocking the flow of blood to the extremities such as your hands, fingers, toes, ears and nose. 
This causes the affected area to change colour to white, then blue and then red, as the blood flow returns. You may also experience numbness, pain, and pins and needles.

Symptoms of Raynaud's can last from a few minutes to several hours. An attack is usually triggered by cold temperatures, anxiety or stress. It's not a serious threat to your health, but can be a very uncomfortable, possibly painful, process. It can also make everyday tasks, like buttoning a jacket or unzipping a purse, very difficult.

People with Raynaud’s often go for long periods without any symptoms, and sometimes the condition goes away altogether.
Cold Hands - Raynaud's
Types of Raynaud's
People who use the tips of their fingers at work, such as keyboard users, may develop a habit of hitting the keys hard with the tips of their fingers. This can damage tiny capillaries in the finger tips causing temporary Raynaud's. This type of Raynaud's is easily sorted by changing typing technique or by wearing silicone digital caps on the finger tips for typing.

There are two forms of Raynaud's Phenomenon:

Primary Raynaud's

This is usually mild and manageable. People with primary Raynaud's symptoms have no other complications, and only occasionally go on to develop a related problem. By anticipating attacks to the fingers and hands the condition can be managed by having handy disposable heat packs available to slide inside your gloves.

Secondary Raynaud's and Scleroderma or Lupas

This is where Raynaud's is caused by another condition, usually an autoimmune disease like scleroderma or lupus. Autoimmune means your immune system becomes overactive and attacks healthy tissue in your body body such as the tiny capillaries in your fingers. 
Cold Hands - Raynaud's
Secondary Raynaud's needs more investigation and more careful monitoring for complications like tissue breakdown that can lead to ulceration or sores.

Other complications include hardening of the skin with excessive collagen fibres, swelling of the hands and feet, joint pain and stiffness and blood vessel damage.

Around 40% of people with scleroderma will develop digital ulcerations.

Digital ulcers are often slow to heal because of poor circulation and tight skin; this does mean that infection is common as the healing time is prolonged. Digital ulcers can have a huge impact on quality of life by making daily living difficult such as washing or preparing food.

It is important to closely manage ulcers and seek medical advice if you notice any sign of infection.  How quickly digital ulcers heal varies hugely from one person to another and what works for you may not for someone else. A tailored approach is required for each person.
Cold Hands - Raynaud's
You can usually treat Raynaud's phenomenon in the hands yourself, although for this you will need to have heat insulating gloves. Sometimes medication is necessary.

If you've been diagnosed with secondary Raynaud’s, you may be referred to a specialist in the treatment of the underlying condition.

Self-help: The following advice is recommended for both primary and secondary Raynaud’s.
  1. Keep your whole body warm, especially your hands and feet. Wear gloves and warm footwear in cold weather.
  2. If you smoke, stop. Quitting smoking will improve your circulation, which should help to improve symptoms.
  3. Exercise regularly, as this helps to improve your circulation and reduce stress levels 
  4. Try to minimise your stress levels. 
  5. You may find it useful to avoid stimulants such as coffee, tea and cola.
Cold Hands - Raynaud's
What can Hand Kinetics do?
At Hand kinetics you can have thermal therapies to improve circulation to the hand and fingers and ease stiff and sore joints.

These include:

  1. Regular warm wax hand baths to reduce your symptoms of cold, pain and numbness and to help to keep an attack at bay. 
  2. Supplying you with disposable hand held heat packs to keep in your pockets or inside your gloves
  3. At hand kinetics we have several types of special heat insulated gloves (essential for keeping hands warm) for you to choose from such as night only gloves and gloves for day time.
  4. We keep a stock of digital silicone caps for finger tips to prevent capillary damage when using a keyboard

Hand Kinetics Telephone: 0044 28 417 72301

15 The Avenue, Burren, Warrenpoint. Co. Down. BT34 3XJ

0044 28 4176 7238
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