Why do your fingers turn blue in raynaud's disease?

Spasm. Spasm of the small blood vessels in the hands and feet. No real cause is known.
Vasospasm. The blood vessels in your hands and feet narrow (vasospasm) causing a reduction in blood flow. The reduced blood to this area causes the area to first turn white. With continued lack of blood to the hands and feet they turn blue. Once the spasm has resolved blood flow returns and the area turns red before returning to its normal color.

Related Questions

Can the palms of your hands turn blue with raynauds? Not just fingers? I was working in a walk in refrigerator and my palms turned blue.

Can do. Yes it's possible, but raynaud's is a very specific pattern of hands and fingers turning cold and blue in the cold, then becoming red and angry looking nd painful as one re-enters a heated environment. Raynaud's is more commonly seen in smokers and in women having concomitant migraine headache issues. Read more...

I recently diagnosed myself with raynauds. Should I be conserned about an underlying problem? Should I hello, I am a 43yo woman. My first white fingers started in october of this past year. It seems that things are progressing from there. If I am very co

Hi, . Hi, often times, doctors have a specific amount of time alloted to see each patient. If there is more than one medical issue to be addressed, there may not be time during that visit. I recommend that you schedule an appointment with your doctor specifically to address these symptoms. If you have these symptoms it could be a primary health issue or if may be secondary to something else. Things to ask your doctor include: do you have raynaud's and if so, is it a primary or secondary condition? What things can you do to prevent symptoms? Is treatment recommended? Does your doctor recommend that you see a rhematologist for this? Read more...
Doctors. . Doctors. You can't live with 'em, and you can't kill 'em. Don't ya just love us? Lisa, let's assume for the moment you do have some sort of "raynaud's, " and it's not something else. There are two disease entities: raynaud's disease, and raynaud's phenomenon. Raynaud's disease is a disease unto itself, with no other underlying medical cause or condition. It's a disease where the smaller arteries (typically hands, but sometimes feet) go into vasospasm, or a state or prolonged contracture, usually in response to a cold stimulus (reaching for the frozen chicken in the freezer). It can be quite painful, since lack of circulation produces pain. Raynaud's phenomenon is the same thing, but occurs as the result of an underlying condition like scleroderma, sle, rheumatoid arthritis or some other condition referred to as collagen vascular diseases. The treatment is avoidance of cold. I have a number of patients who use a dilute mixture of Nitroglycerin paste in white petrolatum (vaseline) which they massage into their feet 2 or 3 times a day. The Nitroglycerin dilates their arteries and they respond quite well. Take dr. Fowler's advice and make another appointment with your doctor to discuss this. There are blood tests for many of these collagen vascular diseases, but blood tests alone are not used to diagnose these conditions, since there are a large number of false positives and false negatives. The diagnosis is made using a list of inclusions and exclusions that is published by the american rheumatism association. Good luck lisa, and stay warm! Read more...

I had a 1-time ischemic finger and had an ECG (normal) with no previous history of raynauds. I'm 55. Should I pursue any other tests?

Ischemic finger. I would. If you truly had an "ischemic" finger (ie., it almost died from lack of blood flow), i would want to be checked for certain rheumatologic conditions that can cause vasculitis (scleroderma, wegener's, polyarteritis nodosa, lupus, etc.) and for cryoglobulinemia (blood clots in the cold). It may just be "raynaud's disease", but it is severe; treatment with a calcium channel blocker may help. Read more...
Yes. We have not had an answer yet and an ECG is not the only test. If is in one finger one must consider local vascular problems in the fingers, arm , etc on that side. We must eliminate the possibility of blood clots, emboli, trauma, smoking if you do that, you need to clarify why it happened. Read more...