Raynaud's disease is a rare disorder of the blood vessels, usually in the fingers and toes. It causes the blood vessels to narrow when you are cold or feeling stressed. When this happens, blood can't get to the surface of the skin and the affected areas turn white and blue. When the blood flow returns, the skin turns red and throbs or tingles. In severe cases, loss of blood flow can cause sores or tissue death.
Primary Raynaud's happens on its own. The cause is not known. There is also secondary Raynaud's, which is caused by injuries, other diseases, or certain medicines.
People in colder climates are more likely to develop Raynaud's. It is also more common in women, people with a family history, and those over age 30.
Treatment for Raynaud's may include drugs to keep the blood vessels open. There are also simple things you can do yourself, such as
- Soaking hands in warm water at the first sign of an attack
- Keeping your hands and feet warm in cold weather
- Avoiding triggers, such as certain medicines and stress
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Raynaud's? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Who Is at Risk for Raynaud's? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Living with Raynaud's (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Chilblains (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Limited Scleroderma (CREST Syndrome) (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Vascular Disorders (American Society for Surgery of the Hand)
- What Causes Raynaud's? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Raynaud's Phenomenon (Logical Images)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Raynaud Disease (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Reproducibility of the scleroderma pattern assessed by wide-field capillaroscopy in...
- Article: Hand-arm vibration and the risk of vascular and neurological diseases-A...
- Article: The Therapeutic Efficacy of Botulinum Toxin in Treating Scleroderma-Associated Raynaud's...
- Raynaud's Disease -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Find a Hand Surgeon (American Society for Surgery of the Hand)
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Also in Spanish