Definition of Phenomenon, Raynaud's

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Phenomenon, Raynaud's: A condition resulting in discoloration of fingers and/or toes when a person is exposed to changes in temperature (cold or hot) or emotional events.

The skin discoloration occurs because an abnormal spasm of the of Raynaud's phenomenon.

Picture of Raynaud's phenomenon

Raynaud's phenomenon occurs with a number of conditions including rheumatic diseases (scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus), hormone imbalance (hypothyroidism and carcinoid), trauma (frostbite, vibrating tools), medications (propranolol/INDERAL, estrogens, nicotine, bleomycin) and, rarely, cancer.

The phenomenon is named for the French physician Maurice Raynaud (1834-1881).

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