ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Raynaud’s Syndrome – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Pictures

Updated on December 19, 2013

Raynaud’s syndrome is a disorder that leads to increased numbness or coolness in certain regions of the body like the toes, fingers and the tips of the ears and the nose, as a response to increased stress or cold weather. The smaller arteries which carry blood to the skin tend to become narrow in people with Raynaud’s syndrome, which in turn restricts the circulation of blood to the affected regions.

People living in colder regions and women are at an increased risk to developing the condition as compared to other individuals. Treatment of the condition is as per the severity level and the presence of any existing medical conditions. Raynaud’s syndrome does not cause extreme health problems but can be quite bothersome.

Symptoms of Raynaud’s Syndrome

Raynaud’s syndrome cannot be compared to frostbite, neither is it just a normal condition of having cold hands and feet. The symptoms of the condition are generally dependent on the harshness, duration and incidence of the blood vessel spasms that accompany the condition. Signs include the following:

  • Increased coldness of the extremities such as the fingers and the toes
  • Relief of stress or warming may induce stinging, numb sensations or prickly pain
  • The skin color may undergo sequential change as a response to stress and cold levels
  • When a person affected by Raynaud’s syndrome gets an attack, then the skin initially turns white. After that, the affected parts may turn blue, become numb and cold and the sense of touch may be blunted. With improvement in blood circulation, the area may turn red accompanied by tingling, throbbing and swelling.
  • The attacks may not always affect the same digits all the time. A single attack generally tends to affect one or two toes or fingers. Besides the digits, Raynaud’s syndrome may also affect other body areas such as the tips of the nose and the ears and even the nipples. An attack can last for many hours or just a few minutes.
  • Individuals who have other underlying medical conditions in addition to Raynaud’s syndrome, will also experience the symptoms of that particular condition during an attack

Causes of Raynaud’s Syndrome

  • The exact cause of Raynaud’s syndrome is not known. However, it is known that the symptoms of Raynaud’s syndrome are caused due to exposure to freezing temperatures or stress. It is also believed that the condition may also be somewhat inherited.
  • When the body comes into contact with cold weather, then the extremities are the first ones to lose heat. As a reaction to cold temperatures and to conserve the core temperature of the body, the body shuts down the flow of blood to the extremities. This is done by narrowing of the smaller arteries that carry blood to the skin. This reaction of the body is amplified in individuals with Raynaud’s syndrome.
  • Stress also causes a similar reaction by the body, and this reaction is exaggerated in people with Raynaud’s syndrome.

Types of Raynaud’s Syndrome and their Causes

There are two main types of Raynaud’s syndrome, i.e. Primary Raynaud’s syndrome and Secondary Raynaud’s syndrome.

  • Primary Raynaud’s syndrome does not have a pre-existing medical condition that can cause a vasospasm of the blood vessels. Vasospasm causes increased narrowing of the blood vessels leading to restricted blood supply. It is more common as compared to secondary Raynaud’s syndrome. Being a woman, residing in colder regions, being in the age group of 15 to 30 years and a family history of the condition increases the risk to developing this type of Raynaud’s syndrome
  • Secondary Raynaud’s syndrome involves the presence of an existing medical condition that may provoke the reaction. It is more serious as compared to the primary type and generally tends to affect individuals in their 40s and above.
    • It may be caused due to:
    • Presence of the autoimmune disorder lupus which tends to affects various body parts such as the skin, tissues, joints and the blood vessels
    • Presence of scleroderma that causes scarring and thickening of the skin
    • Presence of the orthopedic condition, rheumatoid arthritis
    • Presence of different types of arterial diseases such as primary pulmonary hypertension, atherosclerosis, etc
    • Presence of carpal tunnel syndrome that causes narrowing of the wrist passageway, which inflicts increased pressure on a vital nerve going into the hand
    • Narrowing of the blood vessels due to smoking also increases the risk to developing Raynaud’s syndrome
    • Increased number of injuries on the extremities as well as exposure to certain chemicals can increase the risk to Raynaud’s syndrome

Treatment of Raynaud’s Syndrome

  • Mild symptoms of Raynaud’s syndrome can be treated via self care methods and wearing adequate amount of clothing to protect oneself from colder temperatures.
  • Severe symptoms of Raynaud’s syndrome may be treated with medications like vasodilators and alpha blockers, which dilate the blood vessels and improve circulation
  • Women with Raynaud’s syndrome should avoid or stop the intake of birth control pills as they can aggravate the symptoms of the condition
  • Severe cases of Raynaud’s syndrome may be treated via surgeries as per the diagnosis of the doctor.

Raynaud's Syndrome Pictures


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)