YOUNG Dudley mum Chelsea Wood is determined to lead a normal life despite suffering from acute discomfort in her hands and fingers.

Chelsea is prone to painful attacks several times a day which can turn her fingers from black to blue and purple to red - she's even had ulcerations on them.

The 26-year-old said attacks can arrive at any time and added: "It's like frostbite and can come completely out of the blue.

"It can be caused by a change in temperature, a cold day or just simply a stressful situation."

Chelsea, who lives near Buffery Park, suffers from Raynaud's, a condition that could be affecting many more people without them ever realising it.

There is no known cure which means Chelsea has to take considerable precautions to try and limit attacks.

She wears gloves all the year round, cannot handle cold items and has to be careful about what she eats.

Even something as simple as jumping into a swimming pool can bring on an attack and the condition makes everyday tasks such as buttoning up a jacket, or unzipping a purse, extremely difficult.

Chelsea continued: "The condition is hereditary as my mum suffers from it as well. I just have to get on with things. There is no cure but I can take painkillers to help manage the discomfort.

"I've had problems with my fingers and hands all my life and over the past 10 years it has got worse.

"When I was 24, the doctor told me to give up work because it was felt the stress was making things worse - but I said no. I was determined to carry on with my life."

Chelsea will soon be back at work as an inclusion coach with the Albion Foundation following maternity leave having given birth to her son Toby.

She is also striving to make more people aware of the condition and help them to spot the signs.

Symptoms include cold fingers and toes, colour changes in the skin in response to cold or stress and numbness, tingling or pain in the fingers and toes.

Scleroderma and Raynaud's UK believe millions of people across the UK could be unaware they are living with the condition - which is as common as hayfever or arthritis - and therefore not accessing the help they may need.

Some sufferers go on to develop more serious problems, so now the charity is launching a campaign to encourage people to seek advise and support.

For more information about the condition, visit