Pictures of Raynauds Phenomenon of the hand - in Raynauds Syndrome
Immediately after the cold exposure, the fingers go bright white.
This is due to the intense spasm (vasospasm) of the small blood vessels (arteries) in the fingers.
This can also happen in the toes and the feet.
After a few minutes in the warmth, the white areas start to get smaller and the colour starts to return.
However, as the colour returns, the blood in the vessels is de-oxygenated and so is blue.
In other words, at this time, the circulation that is coming back is slow and all of the oxygen is used immediately by the parts of the finger that haven't had any blood or oxygen for a few minutes.
After 5 minutes of being in the warmth, the white areas are disappearing and being replaced by blue areas.
The blue parts showing where the oxygen is being taken out of the blood the quickest.
After 10 minutes, there is very little white left at all.Most of the areas that had been white are now blue.
Those areas that have warmed up more and the circulation has completely returned to have gone back to the normal pink colour.
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