Raynaud’s Disease may be masked as Frostbite

by | Nov 29, 2013 | Life

Primary Raynaud’s disease commonly affects women, ages 18 to 30.

Primary Raynaud’s disease commonly affects women, ages 18 to 30.

Chantilly Post
Life Reporter

The simple signs of frostbite could potentially be something more serious, such as Raynaud’s Disease, suggest many doctors.

Raynaud’s disease is a condition where the small blood vessels that provide blood flow to the skin are cut off. The common areas are in a person’s fingers and toes.

With the cold temperatures arriving, it’s essential to stay warm, and lower your chances of getting frostbite, which can be mistaken for Raynaud’s.

According to Douglas Emerson, a representative from The Arthritis Society, three per cent of the population is estimated to have primary Raynaud’s disease. Primary Raynaud’s disease is more common among women, and first signs tend to be visible between the ages of 18 and 30. Causes for primary Raynaud’s Disease remain unknown.

The primary level of this disease is not a failure to an individual, but simply a discomfort. Secondary Raynaud’s is more common among those ages 45 and over. The secondary strain is typically a bi-product of inflammatory diseases. In all cases, Raynaud’s can cause lasting tissue damage.

Common symptoms of Raynaud’s disease are colour change in fingers or toes, and a tingling and swelling. A person’s sense of touch may be temporarily absent. Although these are common signs, they vary in every individual.

Frostbite is “preventable as long as you cover up,” said former ER nurse Alison Ditomassi. Ditomassi said layering options could vary for different weather extremities. Areas such as the tip of the nose can lose the top surface of skin by frostbite if not covered properly.

“Instead of wearing gloves, wear mittens,” said Rachel Demers, 19, a second-year nursing student at Humber. Demers said mittens allow your fingers to be closer and stay warm with body heat.