| Raynaud's 1: Alexandra |
Raynaud's 2: Joyce
| Raynaud's 3: Judith |
Raynaud's 4: Shelly
Most Raynaud's attacks are not this visible. Usually attacks cause the skin to go dead white. However, attacks that incur blue fingers are much more dramatic and photogenic. In between attacks, the hands look normal.
This photo is of a Raynaud's attack in a systemic scleroderma patient. Note the blueness of the fingers. Raynaud's can cause fingers to turn stark white or dusky blue during an attack, and redness sometimes occurs upon rewarming.
Raynaud's causes spasms of the blood vessels, which can shut down circulation to the affected areas, usually for a few minutes at a time. The temporary lack of blood flow to the area causes distinct color changes, often a stark, waxy white as above; sometimes a dusky blue ; and as the circulation returns, the areas sometimes turn a bright pink or red. (Also see What is Raynaud's?)
Severe cases of systemic scleroderma and Raynaud's (as well as other illnesses) may cause a total lack of blood supply to the extremities. When this happens, necrosis (death of tissue) and gangrene may set in, sometimes making it necessary to have the affected part(s) amputated.
Raynaud's and gangrene sets in more frequently among scleroderma patients who smoke or use caffeine, because such substances further constrict blood vessels. (Also see Raynaud's Prevention)
What is Raynaud's? ISN.
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