I am 24 yr old female. Every few days I get sudden sharp pains in random parts of my hands. Sometimes its in my fingers, sometimes knuckles, sometimes the palm. The site gets swollen and red. It feels like a rubber band wrapped around my finger tip. Recently the veins in my wrist have started popping and bruising. Im really worried. My Dr is no help. The swelling and pain usually last a day our less. Please help!!!!
Vasculitis is just a general term that means there is inflammation in the tiny blood vessels. Due to this inflammation, these small vessels can rupture and cause bleeding and bruising. Unfortunately, it does not give the cause of the inflammation, and there are a multitude of them.
Vasculitis can be the main problem or it can be one of many symptoms within a larger disorder. Unfortunately, the majority of these problems have no tests that can diagnosis them.
Objective swelling and bruising are not normal. True, there are other things that can cause this other than an inflammatory disorder, such as micro trauma. But, there has to be a reason that the tissues are edematous and that there is bleeding into the subcutaneous tissues.
It is probably not a vascular (circulation) problem that a vascular surgeon would take care of. They usually deal with large vessel problems, such are doing bypasses when there is a blockage (eg fem-pop bypass, or femoral popliteal bypass). Small vessel disease is usually a medical, rather than surgical, problem.
Thus, depending upon the etiology of the problem, one of the medical specialties usually manages it. Vasculitis is a common problem in diabetes, so in this case, an endocrinolgist would take care of it.
But, if you are still in the middle of trying to figure out what the underlying problem is, a rheumatologist would probably be the best bet. They are the specialist that deals with most of the inflammatory problems.
So, again, swelling and bruising are not normal. Sometimes, you just have to be persistent. You may need to see several physicians before one of them can figure out what's going on. And, with conditions that come and go, it's not an easy problem. If the symptoms seem to be present and go away before you can see the physician, it is often very helpful to take pictures of the problem. Take them daily, so the physician can see the progression and resolution of the problem.