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I am writing this for my sister. In the winter she gets extremely cold hands and feet and her fingernails turn purple. She is not normally that cold to touch, as much as she feels cold herself. It actually causes pain. It leaves in the summer but in the winter its pretty bad, socks doesn't help, etc. She is only 21, so I was just wondering everyones take on it. She hasn't went to the doc yet...
Raunaud's usually presents as a progression of symptoms. The symptoms you describe sound like they could be Raunaud's.
Here is what you typically see
1) Fingers get cold, the arteries constrict (vasospasm) and this significantly cuts of flow the digits. The digits (fingers/toes) will turn pale or white.
2) Because of the diminished blood flow the fingers do not get enough oxygen and you develop a state called cyanosis, which will be a blue or purplish color.
3) The fingers warm, the blood vessels open, and because the fingers were starved for oxygen as it where, the blood vessels open more than normal to let in lots of blood. This happens because tissues without oxygen release chemicals to stimulate the blood vessels to dilate. The end result, the digits become red and usually warm.
So in a nut shell, here is the progression
Cold fingers -> fingers become pale -> over time become blue -> fingers warm -> fingers become very pink or red.
These changs can involve the hands/feet/fingers/toes most commonly.
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