Font Size

Raynaud Phenomenon (cont.)

Raynaud's Phenomenon Causes

The classification of Raynaud's phenomenon is usually separated in two categories: idiopathic or primary Raynaud's, when no associated disease is identified; and secondary to other diseases (usually autoimmune).

  • Factors that can bring on Raynaud's phenomenon (all vasoconstrictive influences), include the following:
    • Cold or hot environments
    • Mental stressors
    • Certain occupations (vibration from tools, like jackhammers)
    • Smoking (nicotine is a stimulant/vasoconstrictor)
    • Chemical exposure (such as vinyl chloride)
  • Diseases causing Raynaud's phenomenon
    • Collagen vascular diseases: Seventy percent of patients with scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) develop Raynaud's phenomenon. Other disorders including systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, mixed connective tissue disease, or dermatomyositis/polymyositis are also commonly associated with Raynaud's phenomenon.
    • Arterial diseases, including atherosclerosis, thromboangiitis obliterans, or Buerger's disease, involving the small arteries and veins of the hands and feet also have an association with Raynaud's phenomenon.
    • Neurologic disorders: Thoracic outlet syndrome, with compression of nerves as they course through the neck and shoulder area, carpal tunnel syndrome, and occasionally stroke, intervertebral disk disease, and spinal cord tumors may produce Raynaud's phenomenon
    • Blood disorders that cause the blood to thicken or sludge (polycythemia)
    • Trauma
    • Miscellaneous disorders such as hypothyroidism
  • Medications that may cause or worsen Raynaud's phenomenon
Picture of Raynaud's phenomenon
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/27/2015
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Raynaud Phenomenon

Cold Hands and Feet
Cold Hands and Feet When your hands or feet (and sometimes other parts of the body, especially your ears and nose) get too cold, they can be injured or react in different ways. Sym...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Raynaud Phenomenon:

Raynaud's Phenomenon - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with Raynaud's phenomenon.

Raynaud's Phenomenon Pregnancy - Treatment

What was the treatment for your Raynaud's phenomenon?

Raynaud's Phenomenon - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your Raynaud's phenomenon?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Raynaud Phenomenon »

Raynaud phenomenon refers to reversible ischemia of peripheral arterioles.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary