Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud’s phenomenon, also known as Raynaud’s disease or Raynaud’s syndrome, is a condition that affects blood flow to certain parts of the body—usually the fingers and toes. It is named after the French doctor Maurice Raynaud, who first described it in the 19th century.

People with Raynaud’s experience episodes where blood vessels in their extremities (like fingers and toes) narrow in response to cold or stress, limiting blood supply to these areas. This leads to color changes in the skin, typically turning pale or white, then blue, and eventually red as blood flow returns. The affected areas may also feel cold or numb during an episode, and some people feel mild pain.

Raynaud’s phenomenon can occur on its own or be associated with other conditions like scleroderma or lupus. It’s important for individuals with symptoms of Raynaud’s to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and management. Keeping warm and managing stress are often recommended lifestyle measures for those with Raynaud’s.

Pallor/White Phase
In response to cold or stress, the small arteries that supply blood to the extremities (fingers, toes) constrict or narrow. This reduces the blood flow to these areas, causing them to turn pale or white. The lack of blood flow can lead to a feeling of cold and numbness in the affected fingers or toes. This is known as the Pallor/White Phase.
Cyanosis/Blue Phase
As the vasoconstriction persists, the lack of oxygenated blood can cause the affected areas to turn blue or cyanotic. This phase indicates a more severe reduction in blood flow, and individuals may experience increased pain and discomfort.
Reperfusion/Hyperemia Phase
Fingers might appear slightly red as they return to normal state.
Blood circulation in the hand
Blood vessels
Cross section
Longitudinal view

The images in this library are available to use for educational and training purposes only and are not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

All images are covered under copyright and cannot be used for resale or any other commercial use.