Table of Contents
- Raynaud's phenomenon facts
- What is Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What causes Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What are risk factors from Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What conditions have been associated with Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What are Raynaud's phenomenon symptoms and signs?
- What tests do health-care professionals use to diagnose Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What specialties of doctors treat Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What is the treatment for Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for Raynaud's phenomenon?
- Is it possible to prevent Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What research is being done on Raynaud's phenomenon?
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What is Raynaud's phenomenon?
Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) is a condition resulting in a particular series of discolorations of the fingers and/or the toes after exposure to changes in temperature (cold or hot) or emotional events. Most people with RP have sensitivity to cold. Skin discoloration occurs because an abnormal spasm of the blood vessels causes a diminished blood supply to the local tissues. Initially, the digit(s) involved turn white because of the diminished blood supply. The digit(s) then turn blue because of prolonged lack of oxygen. Finally, the blood vessels reopen, causing a local "flushing" phenomenon, which turns the digit(s) red. This three-phase color sequence (white to blue to red), most often upon exposure to cold temperature, is characteristic of RP.
Raynaud's phenomenon most frequently affects women, especially in the second, third, or fourth decades of life. People can have Raynaud's phenomenon alone or as a part of other rheumatic diseases. Raynaud's phenomenon in children is essentially identical to Raynaud's phenomenon in adults. When it occurs alone, it is referred to as "Raynaud's disease" or primary Raynaud's phenomenon. When it accompanies other diseases, it is called secondary Raynaud's phenomenon. Continue Reading
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Koopman, William, et al., eds. Clinical Primer of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.
Ruddy, Shaun, et al., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2001.
2. "A thermal image demonstrating the loss of heat in a Reynaud's sufferer" by Joe m2013 - Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons
3. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
4. eMedicineHealth - Image courtesy of Shabir Bhimji, MD / Tcal at English Wikipedia / Walt Fletcher at English Wikipedia
5. Getty Images
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