White Finger’s medical name is Raynaud’s phenomenon, but it gets the name White Finger due to the effect it has on a person’s fingers. The blood vessels constrict so that blood can no longer reach the muscles and nerves in the fingers. When the blood returns to the affected area it creates a pins and needles sensation, just as if you were sat in an odd position and restricted the blood flow to your foot, then stood up.
The title of this post mentioned winter and that’s because attacks of white finger are normally brought on by one of two things: cold or stress. In cold weather, your blood vessels constrict anyway so as to preserve body heat. With white finger they close far too much. Once the attack has passed and blood flows back to your fingers you will likely feel a tingling sensation, just as you would with pins and needles.
White finger is a condition that most people get as an industrial disease. Too much time spent using vibrating tools damages the fingers so that white finger develops. It can heal with time as long as the exposure to vibrations is cut off, but if allowed to develop it can lead to gangrene and necrosis.
There are measures put in place by the Health and Safety Executive that employers should follow, but if they don’t and you do develop white finger you should look into white finger claims. As with all accident claims your best bet is to go straight to an accident solicitor.