Raynaud's phenomenon

Patient

Q: I am a 29 year old female. I typically have ice cold hands and feet. Sometimes my feet turn blue and numb. My fingernails turn purple and my hands ice white...I'm used to this, as it has been my norm for the past 8 years or so, but now I have horrible burning and itching when my hands and feet suddenly warm. It is the worst during and after I take a shower. Now however, my hands and feet will suddenly itch uncontrollably for about 10 minutes. They are a bit red and swollen and burn. Only pressure, rubbing and itching helps. I rub lotion on and wait in agony till the symptoms abate. What is happening to me??? I am on no medication other than yaz for birth control and have no food allergies.....Help!

Doctor

A:   You may have a condition called Raynaud’s phenomenon. Typically, the hands and feet turn cold and/or pale, sometimes numb when exposed to cold temperatures. What happens here is the blood vessels constrict, thereby decreasing blood flow to these areas. Upon rewarming, the blood vessels open up and these areas will suddenly turn red or go back to its normal color. Pain or burning sensation can also be experienced during this phase. The itchiness is also associated with this condition. It is also noteworthy that stress can trigger these attacks.You should see a doctor as soon as possible so you can be properly diagnosed and interventions can be done accordingly. If this condition is not Raynaud’s phenomenon, it still needs urgent attention nonetheless. I do hope this helps and take care always.

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