At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, one of our goals is to educate our patients about conditions that affect the feet. Raynaud’s Awareness Month is a good opportunity to get the word out about a condition many people are unaware of and may suffer from. It’s estimated that 5-10% of the population has Raynaud’s disease, yet 90% of those cases are undiagnosed.
What is Raynaud’s?
Raynaud’s is a disease that affects the smaller arteries in the body, like those in your toes and fingers. For people who have Raynaud’s, these small arteries will narrow—or vasospasm—in response to cold temperatures or stress. Symptoms of Raynaud’s include:
- Feelings of pain, throbbing, tingling, or numbness in your toes or fingers.
- Changes in skin color of these extremities to white or blue.
- Feeling cold when others do not.
There are two kinds of Raynaud’s disease: primary and secondary. Primary Raynaud’s is the most common form and occurs independently without any known cause. Secondary Raynaud’s, however, is when Raynaud’s is associated with another condition. Often, these are autoimmune disorders or connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma or lupus.
If you’re experiencing any symptoms of Raynaud’s, you must make an appointment with us to evaluate them.
Relieving Raynaud Symptoms
There are several medications and treatments for Raynaud’s. If you are diagnosed, your doctor will help you decide on the best course of treatment. However, there are several steps you can take on your own to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. These include:
- Avoid sudden entry into cold temperatures. This may mean using gloves to get items out of the freezer or putting on two pairs of gloves when going out on cold days.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking narrows the blood vessels, which can exacerbate Raynaud’s.
- Manage stress. Find healthy ways to relieve stress, which can trigger Raynaud’s.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise improves circulation and helps reduce stress—a win-win for patients with Raynaud’s.
At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, our team of doctors treats various conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems, and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and dedicated staff, our 16 conveniently located offices provide individualized high-quality care for patients across Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Ocean, Passaic, and Union Counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne, NJ office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.