What are the symptoms of Raynaud’s disease?
During an episode of Raynaud’s, the arteries constrict (become narrow). Blood does not flow well to the skin’s surface and causes the skin to change from its normal color to blue (because of the lack of oxygen-rich blood). The skin may also feel numb and cold. A Raynaud’s episode can last from several minutes to an hour or more.
Once an episode is over, the skin turns red as the blood rushes back through the arteries. The skin begins to tingle or throb as it warms up again. It can take up to 15 minutes for blood flow to return to normal.
Raynaud’s disease usually affects the fingers and toes. In rare instances, it also may affect the nose, ears, nipples and lips.
While most people have no long-term tissue damage or disability from the disease, those with severe Raynaud's can develop skin sores or infections from long or repeated attacks.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff