Raynaud phenomenon is a situation through which the physique’s regular response to chilly or emotional stress is exaggerated, leading to irregular spasms (vasospasms) in small blood vessels known as arterioles. The dysfunction primarily impacts the fingers however also can contain the ears, nostril, nipples, knees, or toes. The vasospasms cut back blood circulation, resulting in discomfort and pores and skin shade adjustments.
Raynaud phenomenon is episodic, that means that it comes and goes. A typical episode lasts about 15 minutes after the chilly publicity or stressor has ended and entails delicate discomfort corresponding to numbness or a sense of “pins and needles.” The affected areas normally flip white or blue when uncovered to chilly or when emotional stress happens, after which flip pink when re-warmed or when the stress eases.
Raynaud phenomenon is categorized as major when there is no such thing as a underlying dysfunction that accounts for the exaggerated response of the blood vessels. It’s known as secondary when it’s related to one other situation. Secondary Raynaud phenomenon is commonly related to autoimmune issues, which happen when the immune system malfunctions and assaults the physique’s personal tissues and organs. Autoimmune issues with which Raynaud phenomenon will be related embrace systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjögren syndrome.
Main Raynaud phenomenon is rather more frequent and normally much less extreme than secondary Raynaud phenomenon. In extreme circumstances of secondary Raynaud phenomenon, sores on the pads of the fingers or tissue demise () can happen. Main Raynaud phenomenon typically begins between the ages of 15 and 25, whereas secondary Raynaud phenomenon normally begins after age 30. Some individuals with Raynaud phenomenon alone later go on to develop one other related situation; no matter which comes first, these circumstances are categorised as secondary Raynaud phenomenon.