Many of us experience numbness in our fingers and toes after exposure to extremely cold temperatures; however, for those who live with Raynaud’s Disease, cold conditions or emotional stress (such as anxiety or anger) can trigger an attack of numbness, pain, or stinging, which can cause the tips of the digits to turn pale, then blue, then red.
Raynaud’s is categorized as primary or secondary. Primary Raynaud’s disease is often referred to as Raynaud’s syndrome. It is a rare condition and most often occurs in women between the ages of 15 and 30. Men can become afflicted with Raynaud’s syndrome as well, but nine times more women than men are diagnosed with it. It is estimated that approximately 3-5 percent of the population suffers from Raynaud’s disease and its cause is unknown, although individuals who live in cold climates or have a family history of this condition are more prone to developing it.
While primary Raynaud’s disease appears to develop on its own, secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon can develop in response to medication or an injury. Individuals who develop Raynaud’s phenomenon usually do so later in life, most often around the age of 40. While less common than primary Raynaud’s, it can often be more serious in nature.