As the temperature drops and winter approaches, just the phrase "polar vortex" can make a person shiver. However, those with Raynaud's phenomenon have to be especially careful.
Named after French physician Maurice Raynaud (1834–1881), this condition is believed to be the result of vasospasms that decrease blood supply to the extremities in response to cold or emotional stress.
Toes and fingers change color (pale or blue) during a spasm and can be painful. Nails may also develop longitudinal ridges. Often the underlying cause is not known.
The following tips may help individuals with Raynaud's phenomenon stay comfortable during the upcoming winter:
◦ wear leggings and use activated heat packs (handwarmers)
◦ keep moving when in cold temperatures
◦ recognize and adapt to stressful situations
◦ avoid smoking and vasoconstrictive medication (including some blood pressure medication and over-the-counter cold remedies)
If you need additional guidance, schedule an appointment at Skokie Foot & Ankle Specialists by calling (847) 675-3400 or by clicking http://www.skokiepodiatry.com/appointment.html