What is Raynaud’s Disease-from Your Podiatrist in Dallas TX
Raynaud’s Disease is a vasospastic disorder mainly affecting the hands and feet. A vasospasm happens when the smooth muscles that control the small arteries supplying circulation into the hands and feet contract. This muscle contraction makes the arteries small enough that blood has difficulty passing through. The most common trigger for this spasm is exposure to cold temperatures. Raynaud’s Disease can be associated with rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, lupus and other diseases. Mainly found in younger woman and found in both hands and feet rather than one or the other.
This disease is clinical diagnosis based on the patient’s symptoms and what is found during examination. In addition to cold skin temperature, color changes seen in the fingers and toes is a sign of this disease. After exposure to the cold, the toes and fingers tend to turn white and the less oxygen getting to the tips they will turn blue. After the spasm is over, blood flow will return to the fingers and toes and return to normal color. However, not all patients experience the three-color changes some will experience turning from red to white and then back to red depending on the severity of the disease.
The length of the vasospasm depends on the extensiveness of the disease. Some spasms last only minutes and some can last for hours. Often time’s patients will experience pain and numbness. The more severe cases can leave the skin damaged with an appearance similar to frostbite.
Simply protecting your fingers and toes from the cold by wearing insulated boots, thick socks and gloves can treat mild forms of Raynaud’s disease. Also, dressing in layers can help keep your overall body temperature warm. If you are a smoker, discontinuing smoking will help with spasms as a single cigarette can decrease the circulation by one half or more than an hour.
More severe cases of Raynaud’s Disease can be treated with medications to relax the arterial smooth muscles. Successful medicines include: phenoxybenzamine, prazosin, nifidipine, pentoxyphylline and guanethidine. These medicines need to be prescribed to you before use.
Contact Metroplex Foot and Ankle podiatrist in Dallas TX if you are experiencing cold feet or numbness.
Metroplex Foot and Ankle is a progressive group of physicians and surgeons who are committed to helping our patients to achieve their full wellness potential. Contact our Dallas Podiatrist, Garland Podiatrist, or Richardson Podiatrist offices to schedule an appointment today.