deep purple fingers and toes

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New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/26/2009 12:15 AM (GMT -6)   
sad  i, I'm new to the forum. I actually never have been on this site before. I did a search for a lupus site and this one looked like a good one, after reading the posts. I did the search because I'm really concerned about my fingers and toes being purple due to circulation, I guess. I've tried talking to all of my Doctors. I had a rather strange episode last week, and went to the emergency room. That's a whole different story, but needless to say, they didn't answer my purple situation. My right index finger is now staying this deep purple 99% of the time, the other 1% is when it is completely white. It hurts tremendously every night. It pulsates and hurts like a smashed finger. Now  some of my other fingers are starting to turn purple part of the time and my left hand fingers are always a deep red. My toes also go between red, white and you guessed it, purple. They don't always hurt, but when my feet start hurting I usually have to put it under hot water, or blow it with a blow dryer. That doesn't help my right index finger anymore. Does anyone know what I can do, and if this is something dangerous?  It must not be, as none of the doctors seem concerned, but I am very concerned. Please help. sad

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1650
   Posted 5/26/2009 4:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Azrose. Welcome to our forum. Red, white and blue fingers and toes sounds like Reynaud's. Many people with lupus also get reynaud's. It's very important to keep ur hands and feet covered with socks and gloves to stay warm. I know that sounds weird at this time of year, but when ur fingers turn purple it's because of lack of circulation. If u google Reynaud's you'll get lots of info. Also do a search on our forum for many tips regarding Reynaud's. I hope u get some relief soon! Love, Butterflake

Systemic Lupus ('05), depression, fibro, cns issues, sjogrens, diabetes, gerd, hypertension, IBS, stage 1 kidney disease, Rx: Cellcept, plaquenil, prednisone, celebrex, lisinopril, actos, lipitor, nexeum, prozac, seroquel, wellbutrin, xanax, ambien, actonel, tylenol arthritis, neurontin, flexeril, nasonex, phenegren, swish & spit, vitamins, fish oil.  Acupuncture  "Welcome to lupus, where the strange is ordinary and nothing is normal." Donna 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2608
   Posted 5/26/2009 9:17 AM (GMT -6)   

Although Raynaud's is a condition that affects many people with lupus, it can also be a condition all on it's own. My 21 year old daughter has it. She's tall and thin and has the longest fingers and toes I've ever seen, and the poor thing suffers in the winter when they get purple and hurt. I found some sleep socks at Bath & Body Works and she sleeps in them at night. They are thick, soft, and warm.

For more information, google Raynaud's. Here's a site I found that might help you understand the condition:

Lots of folks here have it & will be able to share their experiences with you. I've have a very mild case for 20 years and don't even notice it. If it really bothers you, ask your doctor to refer you to a rheumatologist.

Take care. I'm glad you found this forum & hope you'll stick around.

SLE, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.

prednisone, plaquenil, leflunomide, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, niaspan, tri-est, cymbalta, tricor, acifex

New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/26/2009 9:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, thanks for the info. I actually have had raynaud's for at least 20 years. It always seemed to affect me when I went into a cold room. I never really put those 2 together. I have been using winter gloves and wearing soft warm socks around the clock. None of that seems to help anymore.  I will definitely check into that site and see if they can give me information.  I just wondered if anyone else dealt with this because the purple fingers just looks and feel so bad. Thanks again. I was diagnosed with lupus in 1992. I also have raynaud's, of course, sjogren's disease, fibromyalgia, addison's disease, diabetes(?), and who know's what else.

New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/27/2009 8:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had Raynaud's syndrome for many years, along with Lupus (mixed connective tissue disorder.) I lost the end of my right pointer finger about 20 years ago, and lost part of the flesh on my left pointer finger about 10 years later. I understand completely when you say that the fingers and toes hurt so terribly. My rheumatologist put me on Procardia, which is a calcium channel blocker, to help with the Raynaud's symptoms. It actually did some good, although it didn't solve the problem completely. In 2003 I had a wonderful hand surgeon in Melbourne Florida who did surgery at the wrist level to reverse the blood flow into my hands. The arteries became veins, and the veins became arteries. That helped quite a bit, because at that point I was having episodes all the time and was in danger of losing more fingers. Talk to your doctor about the calcium chanel blockers. They may help quite a bit.
Doreen Boles

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 5/27/2009 1:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Azrose, I have raynayds with the Lupus. Lots of us do. However, i have a good friend who is fairly healthy and he has raynauds. Not sure if I'm spelling it right but if you go on line I'm sure you'll find info. God bless, Tammy

I have SLE, Raynauds, mitrol valve prolapse,Haushimotos thyroiditis.
Meds I'm on are Prednisone, Vitamin D, Hydroxchloiquin, amitriptylin, levoxyl, colchcine, mobic, flexeril, and lyrica
Rom 8:18-19 "I consider that my present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." 

New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/27/2009 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your replies. They are all very helpful. I went on the site that Pattylatty suggested. It was very helpful. According to the site there are 2 types of Raynaud's. The first one sounds what I had been like for most of the 20 (actually, I was thinking about it and it's been 30 years), anyway the 2nd one sounds what I am going thru now. It's pretty much 24/7 that it is affecting me. I can't get over how painful it is. I am calling my rheumatologist today, and ask about the medications and treatments that doreen boles wrote about. I am actually worried that I could lose the tip of my pointer finger, too. It is the one that hurts the most. My skin on the sides of my fingers are very hard. So thank you all for responding. I did get a call last night from the emergency room Doctor that I saw last week, when I had a different type of episode, and he said that my sed rate was very high. So maybe they are tied together. Thanks again. I've been doing alot of reading on the forum and everyone is so comforting and helpful at the same time.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 5/27/2009 3:07 PM (GMT -6)   
It could be raynauds but if so it sounds like it is very acute.  You need to see a doctor asap to get a diagnosis if it is raynauds or some other circulatory problem.  Lack of blood can damage tissues and cause loss of digits.  Don't wait to see a doctor.
Raynauds normally is triggered by cold and comes and goes.  What you describe is more serious and might need treatment with meds.
See a doctor soon.  If you have a rheumy he/she should be familiar with the condition and know what to prescribe.
MCTD (lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis).  Diagnosed 2005.  Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, Barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005.  Recovered and now active in skiing, tai, chi, hiking, golf.  Meds: prednisone 2.5mg, imuran 50mg, amlodipine, benazapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide and various supplements and vitamins.
Remain optimistic and you can overcome the odds.

New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/27/2009 10:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks. I have actually seen 3 doctors in the last 3 weeks, including 1 ER, and a rheumatologist at Barrow's St. Joseph's in Phoenix, which is supposed to be world renown. I guess my other problems were more important at the time. I'm seeing my rheumatologist next Wed. Tonight has been especially bad. My middle finger and index finger are both almost black. They are pulsating so....bad. My left hand is completely white and my right hand is red and black. The doctors don't seemed concerned. That's why I wrote in. I thought maybe it wasn't as bad as I think it is. But the pain keeps telling me otherwise. It's always worse in the evening, with tonight qualifying as the worst. I just took aspirin to see if it would help the pain. Hopefully, it will be okay until next week. It's just that I'm worried that it'll be like taking the car to a mechanic, it'll look and feel perfectly normal when I go to the Dr. and he'll think I'm crazy. As I'm sure anyone with autoimmune illness' have experienced. Isn't that the worst part. After all these years, I still can't get past those insecurities of nobody believing me. The feeling like everyone will think I'm just being a hypochondriac. I wonder if that ever goes away. Probably not until there is a cure to embody all autoimmune diseases. Even on this post I see myself trying to explain it so anyone reading it will believe me. Oh well, like I said, I'm sure most of you know what I mean. Anyway, thanks and just say a prayer, that a week from now will be ok.


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 5/27/2009 11:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Please, please do not wait a week !

If fingers or toes are turning black it counts as a medical emergency. The tissue is being deprived of oxygen because the veins are constricting and reducing blood supply. Tissue death aka gangrene results and amputation might be necessary.

By the way extremes of temperature have to be avoided with Raynauds. Warm water might be OK but not hot water or a hot surface or clapping cold hands which could further damage the already fragile veins.

Try taking photos of visible problems when they are present.

Good Luck


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7725
   Posted 5/28/2009 12:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Visit the ER before you loose those appendages! I can't believe it's nothing if they are black.
Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
Life is far too important to be taken seriously. - Oscar Wilde, 1882

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 5/30/2009 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Like everyone else here, I also have raynaud's. It's never been determined whether it's secondary or primary, but since I have seropositive RA, and SLE sx, I think it may be secondary. I get the 3 color change that is typical of raynaud's, but what it is more troublesome is how incredibly sensitive and sore my fingertips get. They get so sore I can't use them. Drives me crazy. I finally started taking procardia (nifedipine) a couple of months ago and it has made all the difference in the world. My feet and hands still get incredibly cold (temperature outside doesn't seem to matter that much), but I do not have the soreness and pain in my fingertips as long as I take the meds. Procardia has made a huge difference. Other than that, just trying to keep warm.

Get your finger checked out again--that doesn't sound too good.

Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, nexium, tramadol, nasonex,Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan, zyrtec, zegerid, aciphex

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