Raynaud's phenomenon

Raynaud's phenomenon, also called Raynaud's syndrome or disease, is a condition where blood vessels in the fingers and toes -- and sometimes in the earlobes, nose, and lips -- narrow and cause the skin to turn pale or patchy red to blue. The affected body part may feel numb and cold. It is usually triggered by cold or stress.

Episodes come and go and may last minutes or hours. Women are 5 times more likely to have Raynaud's than men. It usually happens between the ages of 20 to 40 in women and later in life in men. When it happens by itself, it's called primary Raynaud's. It can also happen along with other conditions, such as scleroderma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. In those cases, it's called secondary Raynaud's.

Although some cases may be severe, Raynaud's usually does not cause permanent damage.

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Review Date: 6/2/2016  

Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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