Most people’s fingers and toes tend to get chilly pretty easily when it’s very cold out, but for some unlucky people, their extremities can get cold and go numb even in less-than-frigid temperatures.
And it’s all thanks to a condition called Raynaud’s disease. Women are more likely to have this affliction than men, and, surprise, surprise, it occurs more commonly in people who live in a cold climate.
For people with Raynaud’s disease, smaller arteries that supply blood to the skin narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas, usually the fingers and toes.
During an attack of Raynaud’s, which can come on from being cold or from stress, the fingers and toes feel cold and they begin to turn white or blue.
As circulation improves, they may turn red, throb, tingle or swell.
If you suffer from Raynaud’s disease, you know how unpleasant these symptoms can be, and it’s really not the same as just having cold fingers.
Here are five things only people with Raynaud’s disease understand.
1. You’re Used To Crazy-Looking Flesh
Although other people might go into a panic when they see how much your hands have changed colors, you’re used to the drastic changing of shades your skin goes through.
2. You Carry Gloves Everywhere
The cold is your mortal enemy, so you know to carry gloves or mittens around everywhere you go—year round, because air conditioning.
3. You Love Heat Sources
Hot mugs, dryers in the bathroom, warm blankets, a hot water faucet—they’re all your best friends.
4. You’re Careful Around Cold Beverages
Even the touch of a beer bottle fresh from the cooler can make your fingers go numb right then and there. The same goes for air conditioning too.
5. Socks Are Also Essential
What happens to your fingers can also happen to your toes, so you know to wear thick socks and cozy shoes, even if it isn’t quite winter yet.
Want to learn more? Watch this video.