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What is Raynaud’s Phenomenon? How can we treat it? >
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What is Raynaud’s Phenomenon? How can we treat it?

Raynaud’s phenomenon is when blood vessels in the fingers constrict or narrow in response to cold or emotional stress. The resulting disruption in blood circulation causes a series of color changes in the skin: white, blanched or pale, when circulation is reduced or stopped; blue as the affected part lacks oxygen from decreased blood flow; and then red or flushed as blood flow returns. Raynaud’s phenomenon affects about 4% of the general population. It is present in over 90% of patients with scleroderma. “Crises” can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours and tend to worsen with time. Although, there is currently no cure for Raynaud’s phenomenon, many common-sense preventative measures can be taken by those affected. The most obvious is minimizing exposure to cold, wear gloves or mittens and avoid smoking. A number of different medications can also help to prevent, reduce the frequency and minimize the effects of Raynaud’s phenomenon.