Raynaud's disease is the more common, milder version of Raynaud's phenomenon, which is a condition that affects the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, ears, and nose. The condition is characterized by episodic attacks that cause the blood vessels in fingers and toes to constrict. The attacks are typically triggered by exposure to cold or emotional stress, and symptoms may include throbbing, numbness, or coldness.
Raynaud's disease is a condition that affects the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, ears, and nose. It is characterized by episodic attacks, called vasospastic attacks, that cause the blood vessels in the digits (fingers and toes) to constrict (narrow).
Raynaud's disease is a type of Raynaud's phenomenon. In medical literature, "Raynaud's disease" may also be called:
- Primary Raynaud's phenomenon
- Idiopathic Raynaud's phenomenon
- Primary Raynaud's syndrome.
The terms "idiopathic" and "primary" both mean that the cause is unknown.
Most people who have Raynaud's phenomenon have the primary form (the milder version).
Although estimates vary, recent surveys show that Raynaud's phenomenon may affect 5 to 10 percent of the general population in the United States. Raynaud's disease is the most common form of Raynaud's phenomenon. Raynaud's disease appears to be more common in people who live in colder climates. However, people with Raynaud's disease who live in milder climates may have more attacks during periods of colder weather.
A person who has Raynaud's disease has no underlying disease or associated medical problems. More women than men are affected, and approximately 75 percent of all cases are diagnosed in women who are between 15 and 40 years old.