Raynaud's PhenomenonView All Arthritis Types
Raynaud's phenomenon is a condition resulting from poor circulation in the extremities (i.e., fingers and toes). In a person with Raynaud's phenomenon, when his or her skin is exposed to cold or the person becomes emotionally upset, the blood vessels under the skin tighten and the blood flow slows. This is called vasospasm. Hands and feet have fewer large blood vessels and, therefore, when a vasospasm occurs, it is harder for the blood to keep flowing and these areas may turn blue because less oxygen is reaching the skin. The skin will also feel cold because less blood is reaching the skin to keep it warm. While attacks of vasospasm may last from minutes to hours, only rarely do they cause severe tissue damage.
Raynaud's phenomenon is named after the French doctor Maurice Raynaud, who first described the condition in the mid-1800s. The condition is also known as Raynaud's syndrome or Raynaud's disease.View All Arthritis Types