Symptoms of Raynaud's Phenomenon

There are numerous symptoms associated with Raynaud's syndrome. They tend to range in intensity and occur sporadically. Raynaud's disease symptoms include:

  • numbness or tingling in the toes or fingers
  • numbness in the earlobes, nose, or lips
  • pain or swelling in the fingers and toes
  • burning sensations in the extremities
  • digits that turn pale white or blue when exposed to the cold
  • digits that change color when pressure is applied
  • extremities that feel cold to the touch
  • digits that turn red and feel hot upon return of blood flow

Complications of Raynaud's Phenomenon

Secondary Raynaud's disease caused by fibromyalgia is associated with certain complications.

These complications tend to be rare, but if your Raynaud's disorder is ignored or left untreated, you may be at increased risk.

Complications that can occur include:

  • ulcers on the skin of the fingers and toes
  • fingernail or toenail deformities
  • difficulty healing cuts and other wounds
  • scarring
  • tissue damage
  • gangrene

Treatment of Raynaud's Phenomenon

Though there is no cure for Raynaud's phenomenon, there are a few simple things that you can do to control your attacks and reduce the cold fingers, swelling, and tissue damage of Raynaud's. Before you undertake any Raynaud syndrome treatment, consult with your health care provider.

Self Help

It is important to be aware of your disorder and reduce your vulnerability to attacks. Try to avoid exposure to the cold whenever possible. If you are going to be outside on a cold day, dress in layers. Always wear mittens or gloves and heavy socks when you are outside during the winter.

Engage in daily exercise to help with your blood's circulation. If you are a smoker, consider quitting, because nicotine causes blood vessels to narrow, making you even colder.


Medication is generally prescribed for people with Secondary Raynaud's phenomenon. Calcium-channel blockers help two-thirds of sufferers with their attacks. They work by dilating blood vessels in the fingers and toes, increasing blood flow to affected areas.

Alpha-blockers have also proven helpful for some patients. These counteract the effects of norepinephrine, a chemical responsible for constricting blood vessels.


Table of Contents
1. Raynaud's Phenomenon
2. Do you have Raynaud's?
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