Vascular Associates of Northern Virginia

Timely and considerate care of the arterial and venous systems.

Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’s Disease (also called Raynaud’s Phenomenon) is a blood vessel disorder.  It commonly affects the small vessels in the tips of the fingers or toes.

What does it do?

It causes the blood vessels to narrow when the body is cold or stressed, which is a normal response to cold temperatures, but Raynaud’s Disease causes a much stronger response.  It makes the vessels respond much faster and stronger than normal.


Primary Raynaud’s disease happens on its own without any underlying conditions.

Secondary Raynaud’s disease on the other hand happens secondary to other health problems or medications.

Who is at risk?

Anyone can get Raynaud’s disease.  But it is more common in:

  • People who live in colder climates.
  • Females.
  • People over 30 years old.
  • People with a family history of Raynaud’s disease

What are the symptoms?

During an attack, the tips of the fingers or toes might become whitish or bluish in color and might feel numb and cold.  As the attack comes to an end, blood flow returns causing reddish discoloration with throbbing or tingling sensations.

In worst case scenarios, the blood loss might lead to open wounds and tissue loss.

What can be done?

Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor might decide whether to treat with medicine or not.

But there are simpler ways that might help. For example:

  • Keeping your hands and feet warm when the temperature is cold.
  • Use warm water to warm your hands or feet.
  • Do not touch cold things, such as frozen food, without wearing gloves.
  • Try to control your stress.
  • Do not smoke.


Note: This blog post is intended for information only.  It is not meant to replace a professional medical opinion.  If you are suspecting any medical problems, please seek professional medical attention.  If you are having an emergency, please call 911.

Vascular Associates of Northern Virginia, P.C.
Vascular Laboratory

Our Vascular Surgeons:
Robert S. Podolsky, M.D.
Avisesh Sahgal, M.D.

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