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Raynaud’s disease

Matthew Clavey, Thermal Vision Research

Download this image from Wellcome Collection.

A healthy hand (left) and the hand of a person with Raynaud’s disease (right). Raynaud’s disease usually affects the hands and feet, causing less blood to flow to them when the person is cold, anxious or stressed. This makes the affected area turn pale and can also lead to numbness, pain, and pins and needles.

These hands are from two different people, one male and one female. Both hands were put in cold water for 2 minutes before being imaged. The healthy hand then warmed considerably faster, and hotter areas are shown in yellow and orange. Colder areas are blue, black and purple.

Imaging technique: thermal imaging

Thermal imaging uses a special type of camera to detect infrared radiation or heat. Differences in the detected temperature are used to create the final image. Using special software, correct temperature values can also be read in different areas of the image itself.

Location where image was created

London, UK

Why did the judges choose this image?

“We chose this image because it so strikingly conveys the difference between someone with the condition and someone with normal circulation. The contrasting colours leap out at the viewer, illustrating the way thermal imaging works.”

Catherine Draycott, Head of Wellcome Images

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