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Ask the doc: Why are my fingers sore?

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Reynaud's affects fingers. Picture by Andreas160578, via Wikimedia Commons.
Reynaud's affects fingers. Picture by Andreas160578, via Wikimedia Commons.

Dr Laura Ryan, NHS 24 medical director, answers readers’ questions in our weekly column

Q. During the colder months I get really sore and sometimes numb fingers. Is this something to be worried about?

A. If you find your fingers are going numb, or become painful for an extended period of time (longer than a few minutes) you may have a very common condition called Raynaud’s phenomenon, usually triggered by cold temperatures, anxiety or stress.

The condition occurs because your blood vessels go into a temporary spasm, which blocks the flow of blood.

It’s not a serious threat to your health, but can be annoying.

Reynaud’s can occur by itself or in conjunction with other conditions.

In many cases, it may be possible to control the symptoms of Raynaud’s yourself by avoiding the cold, wearing gloves and using relaxation techniques when feeling stressed.

Stopping smoking can also improve symptoms, as smoking can affect your circulation.

If your symptoms are impacting on day-to-day activities, you should speak to your GP. Visit NHS Inform and search for ‘Raynaud’s’ for further information.

Q. I have already tested positive for coronavirus in the past, but my flatmate is starting to show symptoms. Do I need to isolate again?

A. If you recover from a confirmed case of coronavirus and then go on later to develop new symptoms, you should follow self-isolation and household isolation advice again.

The same applies if you live with someone who develops symptoms – you should continue to follow isolation guidance for households with a possible infection. Following guidance remains the best way to prevent possible spread in the community.

Guidance is available at www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus

Related story: Ask the doc: Any tips about nose bleeds?

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