Raynaud’s phenomenon is common and doesn’t usually cause serious problems. It often goes away without seeing a GP.
Check if it’s Raynaud’s
Raynaud's affects your blood circulation. When you're cold, anxious or stressed, your fingers and toes may change colour.
Other symptoms can include:
- pins and needles
- difficulty moving the affected area
Some people also find their ears, nose, lips or nipples are affected.
The symptoms of Raynaud’s may last from a few minutes to a few hours.
When it's something else
|Pins and needles that lasts for a few minutes||resting or sleeping on part of the body|
|Breathing too quickly, trembling hands, pins and needles but fingers don’t change colour||hyperventilation|
|Burning or itchy swelling on fingers and toes, happens after being very cold, gets worse as you warm up||chilblains|
Things you can do yourself
- smoke - improve your circulation by stopping smoking
- drink too much tea, coffee or cola - caffeine and other stimulants can stop you relaxing
See a GP if:
- your symptoms are very bad or getting worse
- Raynaud's is affecting your daily life
- you only have numbness on one side of your body
Treatment from a GP
If your symptoms are very bad or getting worse, your GP may prescribe a medicine called nifedipine to help improve your circulation.
Some people need to take nifedipine every day. Others only use it to prevent Raynaud’s - for example, during cold weather.
If you can’t speak to your GP or don’t know what to do next.