Purple Hands: Raynaudís Symptoms
10 November 2022 | Seth
Raynaud's disease (also known as Raynaud’s phenomenon, Raynaud's syndrome or simply Raynaud’s) brings a unique set of symptoms for sufferers. If purple hands and swollen fingers sound familiar, you're in the right place. We've put this informative guide together to showcase our most tried, tested and effective solutions for combatting Purple Hands & Raynaud's Disease.
What Will This Guide Cover?
What Causes Purple Hands?
When the blood vessels in your extremities contract due to cold exposure, blood-flow to certain areas of the body (usually the fingers or toes) is drastically reduced. When this happens, your hands can start to turn purple due to a restricted oxygen supply. This is known as a Raynaud’s attack.
What Can Cause a Raynaud's Attack?
Raynaud’s attacks are typically triggered by exposure to cold temperatures or extreme stress. Because the spasms cut off blood flow to fingers, they first appear white and can look alarmingly lifeless.
Because of this reduced circulation, your hands will most likely feel numb and cold. If the fingers aren’t heated quickly enough, they typically turn blue, however in more severe cases they can turn purple.
How Do I Prevent a Raynaud's Attack?
The best way to prevent purple hands and a Raynaud's attack is to heat your hands and wear the correct gloves before entering a cold environment. Thankfully, we've got a tonne of tried, tested and loved gloves for you to look at.
The Power of Silver Gloves
Raynaud's Silver Gloves contain 8% silver which helps trap heat, forcing 95% of the heat your hands generate back toward your body. Unrivalled in terms of their scope, Silver Gloves are used by Raynaud's sufferers around the world in some of the coldest climates, either as glove liners or as a top layer.
Hand Warmers and Purple Hands
Whether you prefer a traditional microwave heated handwarmer or a modern rechargeable option, hand warmers are an essential part of combatting the onset of numb, purple hands. Because gloves do not generate any heat on their own, it's vital your hands are warm before you put them on.
Hand warmers can also be kept in your pockets on those blisteringly cold mornings for an instant hit of soothing heat.
What Makes the Hands Change Colour?
During a Raynaud's attack, the fingers and hand may first turn white because of the contracting of the blood vessels. This is caused by blood moving away from the skin’s surface, deeper into the centre of the fingers.
Your hands then turn purple because the oxygen in the blood is used up and the blood isn’t replaced as quickly as it should be. The redness and throbbing happens because the blood vessels have opened up again and moved closer to the skin, allowing blood to return to the fingers.
What Is Layering and How Does It Help?
Layering helps trap additional heat, which is vital for rejuvenating blood-flow and improving circulation to the hands. Over the years, our customers have found repeat success wearing a pair of bulky thermal gloves over the top of their Silver Gloves.
Primary or Secondary Raynaud’s?
Purple fingers during an attack of Raynaud’s could be a sign of secondary Raynaud’s – where the condition is caused by an underlying disease. This is because fingers only tend to go purple in more serious cases of Raynaud’s, and primary Raynaud’s (where the condition exists by itself) is generally very mild.
In more severe cases of Raynaud’s, there are more risks of complications occurring, including ulcers and scarring developing on the affected fingers.
Other Useful Pages
If you haven't quite found what you're looking for here, we have a tonne of other informational pages for you to take a look at.
The Last Word on Purple Hands and Raynaud's Disease
Whilst your hands turning purple can be alarming, it's comforting to know that there are solutions out there for preventing this happening all the time. If you’re interested in getting your hands on some gloves to help fend off Raynaud’s disease, check out our full range of Gloves and Silver Gloves.