Marie Gerhard-Herman MD, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, discusses diagnosis and treatment for Raynaud’s phenomenon.
Raynaud's phenomenon or syndrome is a fairly common condition where people have well demarcated pallor or cyanosis of their fingers, the tips of their nose, tips of their tongue, ear lobes, or toes, meaning there's a color change from normal to either white or blue in any of those areas.
Most believe that this is in response to just your fingers being cold, but that’s not always the case. This response is a neurologic reflex and can happen with cold exposure elsewhere on the body. In most cases, when the body warms up the demarcated area goes away.
This condition can be either primary or secondary. Primary Raynaud's phenomenon is very common in females and often seen at the beginning of adolescents. Secondary Raynaud's phenomenon can be from a known injury such as frostbite or damaged blood vessels to the fingers.
At Brigham and Women's Hospital, we have a group of doctors that take care of patients with Raynaud's phenomenon enabling accurate diagnosis in a single visit.
Learn more about Raynaud’s phenomenon.
Read the Raynaud’s Phenomenon video transcript.