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What are the symptoms of Raynaud's?

People who have primary Raynaud's (Raynaud's disease) or secondary Raynaud's (Raynaud's phenomenon) can have attacks in response to cold temperatures or emotional stress.

Raynaud's attacks usually affect the fingers and toes. Rarely, the attacks affect the nose, ears, nipples, or lips.

During a Raynaud's attack, the arteries become very narrow for a brief period. As a result, little or no blood flows to affected body parts. This may cause these areas to:
  • Turn pale or white and then blue
  • Feel numb, cold, or painful
  • Turn red, throb, tingle, burn, or feel numb as blood flow returns to the affected areas
Raynaud's attacks can last less than a minute or as long as several hours. Attacks can occur daily or weekly.

Attacks often begin in one finger or toe and move on to other fingers or toes. Sometimes only one or two fingers or toes are affected. Different areas may be affected at different times.

This answer from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. William D. Knopf.

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