Raynaud’s phenomenon is where the fingers turn white and become numb and painful. It is due to a narrowing (constriction) of the small blood vessels on exposure to the cold, or to a change in temperature, or to emotional stress. It can sometimes blood vessels in other areas too such as the toes, ears and noses are affected. It is named after Dr Maurice Raynaud, the man who first described it in 1862.
It happens because your blood vessels go into a temporary spasm which blocks the flow of blood. It is this that causes the area to change colour to white, then blue and then finally red as the blood flow returns.
Raynaud's is a common condition affecting up to 10 million people in the UK. If you often have cold hands or feet, could you be living with this condition?
Why not take the test on Raynauds UK website.
For more information on this condition see our page here.