Raynaud’s Syndrome




Narrowing of arteries that carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body, known as vasospasm attacks, results in reduced blood flow in the fingers and toes and is typically triggered by cold temperatures and emotional stress.

There are two types of Raynaud’s: primary and secondary. The primary form is known as Raynaud’s disease and it has no known cause. The more severe secondary form is known as Raynaud’s phenomenon and it is caused by underlying diseases.

Common Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms for both primary and secondary Raynaud’s include affected body parts feeling numb, cold, or painful, color changes in fingers or toes, and warmth and throbbing as blood returns to affected areas following an attack. Skin sores and gangrene (decay of body tissues) may form in severe cases of secondary Raynaud’s.

Co-existing Conditions

Raynaud’s Disease (primary) :

Currently, none known.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon (secondary):

SLE, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, Buerger disease, pulmonary hypertension, atherosclerosis, cryoglobulinemia, and thyroid disorders.

Risk Factors

Raynaud’s Disease (primary) :

Females are at greater risk for developing Raynaud’s disease. Raynaud’s disease also occurs in most people before the age of 30. Research has also pointed to family history of Raynaud’s disease as being a risk factor.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon (secondary):

More likely to develop after the age of 30. Pre-existing autoimmune diseases and other conditions increase the risk of having Raynaud’s phenomenon. Studies have shown that environmental factors such as exposure to vinyl chloride are associated with developing the condition. Smoking is another risk factor for Raynaud’s phenomenon.


  1. Article Sources and Footnotes
    1. Fontana, L., Marion, M. J., & Catilina, P. (2004). Persistent Raynaud’s phenomenon after exposure to vinyl chloride monomer: Assessment of endothelial damage. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 22(1), 132–133.

    2. Planchon, B., Pistorius, M. A., Beurrier, P., & De Faucal, P. (1994). Primary Raynaud’s phenomenon. Age of onset and pathogenesis in a prospective study of 424 patients. Angiology, 45(8), 677–686. https://doi.org/10.1177/000331979404500802

    3. Raynaud’s | NHLBI, NIH. (n.d.). Retrieved July 9, 2021, from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/raynauds

    4. Raynaud’s Phenomenon. (n.d.). Retrieved July 9, 2021, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/raynauds-phenomenon

    5. Suter, L. G., Murabito, J. M., Felson, D. T., & Fraenkel, L. (2007). Smoking, alcohol consumption, and Raynaud’s phenomenon in middle age. The American Journal of Medicine, 120(3), 264–271. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2006.06.007

    6. Temprano, K. K. (2016). A Review of Raynaud’s Disease. Missouri Medicine, 113(2), 123–126. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6139949/

    7. Rose, N. R., & Mackay, I. R. (2020). The Autoimmune Diseases (6th ed., pp. 588-591). Academic Press.

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