Sudden contraction of small arteries in fingers and toes, causing skin to turn very pale, then bluish; an occasional, short-lived phenomenon at first, with affected digits feeling weak and numb; returning circulation is accompanied by pins-and-needles sensation. In severe cases, blood-starved tissues may cause Varicose Ulcers or dry Gangrene. Condition may be brought on by cold, Stress, abnormal reactions to drugs such as beta blockers, or repeated use of pneumatic drill or chain saw; sometimes it is a feature of Buerger's disease, scleroderma, arteriosclerosis, pulmonary hypertension, Diabetes or Neuralgia and Neuritis. If fingers or toes frequently become numb and bluish, see your medical doctor. Orthodox treatment consists of drugs to dilate arteries and improve circulation; cutting nerve supply to affected arteries may also produce improvement. Homeopathic treatment is constitutional, although the remedies below should be tried first.
Specific remedies to be taken every ½ hour for up to 10 doses
- Burning sensation in fingers or toes, made worse by heat, rest of body feels cold Secale 30c
- Skin icy cold and mottled, natural colour returns with fanning Carbo veg. 30c
- Skin bluish-purple, especially after sleep Lachesis 30c
- Applying heat or letting limb hang down makes symptoms worse Pulsatilla 30c
- Skin very pale, flushes easily, cold applications relieve symptoms Ferrum phos. 30c
- Swelling, burning, and itching, cold makes symptoms worse Arsenicum 30c
- Hands icy cold and swollen, swollen feet, restless legs Cactus 30c
Self-help: To restore circulation to hands and feet, whirl your arms about in the air and swing your legs. Make sure your hands and feet are thoroughly warm before you go out in cold weather; toast gloves and socks on a radiator before you put them on, and don't wear them too tight. Foot powders may help to protect skin. Stop smoking - nicotine makes blood vessels contract. Use stress-reduction techniques. Have hot meals and increase fluids but not caffeine or alcohol. Try extra iron.