When do cold fingers and toes become a more serious condition? Raynaud’s disease causes painfully cold, and often pale, digits.
It happens when I’m walking with the dog, while grasping cold tools, or responding to texts on the mountain. The cold saps the warmth out of my digits. Then the frigidity sets in, followed by pale skin capped by achy digits that can make a fully-bearded man cry.
Have cold hands? It might be more. Here’s a quick rundown on Raynaud’s disease from someone who has experienced it.
Raynaud’s Disease: What It Is
According to Raynauds.org, Raynaud’s is a circulatory disease wherein the cold causes superficial vessels in the skin to constrict, resulting in pale and potentially numb digits. Rewarming digits will feel tingly and potentially painful.
Cold digits are the result of the body’s natural instincts to preserve body heat in extremely low temps. Ice climbers, mountaineers, and polar explorers will experience similar sensations in severe cold. For those with Raynaud’s disease, the body overreacts to exposure to cold, causing blood vessels in the extremities to constrict even in mild environments.