Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Raynaud's phenomenon

2-minute read

Raynaud's phenomenon (or Raynaud's disease) is a condition causing some areas of the body to feel numb and cool in response to cold temperatures or stress. Women are more commonly affected, with about 5% of the general experiencing Raynaud’s phenomenon at some stage in their life. It is also more common in colder climates.

Raynauds is caused by temporary disruption to blood flow in small blood vessels in the extremeties. You are mostly likely to get Raynauds in your fingers, toes, tip of the nose, lips and ears.

Most people with this condition have primary Raynaud’s phenomenon, which is often mild and does not have a clear underlying cause. Some people have secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon where there is an underlying cause such as an autoimmune disease.

If you experience Raynaud’s phenomenon, you should discuss it with your doctor. Your doctor may find an underlying cause, which can be treated.

Here are some tips to help you prevent further episodes of Raynaud's from occurring:

  • dress warmly, including wearing a hat to stop body heat escaping from the top of your head
  • don’t get wet
  • wear gloves, a scarf and warm socks on cool days
  • try to avoid changes in temperature, which can bring on an attack

Follow the links below to find trusted information about Raynaud's phenomenon.

Last reviewed: August 2018

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Raynaud's Phenomenon Raynaud's disease | myVMC

Medical information about Raynaud's disease constriction of blood vessel in Raynauds Syndrome symptoms of Raynaud's phenomenon treatment

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Raynaud phenomenon - ACD

Raynaud phenomenon is an intermittent constriction of the blood flow to the fingers and toes precipitated by cold, emotion and some drugs that cause spasm of the small arteries bringing blood to the fingers and toes.

Read more on Australasian College of Dermatologists website

What is Raynaud’s phenomenon?

Raynaud’s phenomenon is the name given to the temporary interruption of blood supply to the fingers or toes (occasionally the ears and nose), which occurs as a result of spasm causing the vessel to squeeze and get smaller.

Read more on Autoimmune Resource and Research Centre website

Raynaud's phenomenon (Raynaud's disease) information | myVMC

Raynaud's phenomenon causes narrowing of the blood vessels, leading to impaired blood supply and tissue death in fingers, toes, ears and nose.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Raynaud's phenomenon - Better Health Channel

Raynaud's phenomenon can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, so see your doctor if you experience it.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Raynauds phenomenon - Musculoskeletal Australia (MSK)

Key points | Symptoms |Primary Raynauds phenomenon |Secondary Raynauds phenomenon | Diagnosis | Treatment | Prevention |Complications | Where to get help | How we can help | More to explore| Download PDFRaynauds phenomenon is a condition that can cause discomfort as the blood supply to your extremities becomes reduced

Read more on Musculoskeletal Australia website

Raynauds Phenomenon - ARRC - Autoimmune Resource & Research Centre

To read or print a fact sheet please click below: raynauds_brochure Raynauds Handy Hints Raynauds Phenomenon For more illness specific information please go back to the complete Health Information Factsheet List

Read more on Autoimmune Resource and Research Centre website

Peripheral vascular disease

Peripheral vascular disease is the reduced circulation of blood to a body part other than the brain or heart. It is caused by a narrowed or blocked blood vessel. The main cause is atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of fatty deposits that narrow a blood vessel, usually an artery. The narrowed blood vessel reduces the circulation of blood to the associated body part.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Peripheral arterial disease (arteriosclerosis) information | myVMC

Peripheral arterial disease is arteriosclerosis or damage to the blood vessels of the legs and feet. Blood flow is restricted and nerve damage may occur.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Scleroderma - Better Health Channel

The most common symptom of scleroderma is a thickening and hardening of the skin, particularly of the hands and face.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo