Raynaud’s Disease, observed in February, is a time to increase awareness about Raynaud's Disease, to promote the need for a cure, and to spur advocy on behalf of those suffering with the emotional financial and physical burden of Raynaud's Disease. Although it’s been over one hundred years since Raynaud’s was recognized, little is still known about the condition, its cause, or its cure. The Raynaud’s Association seeks to raise awareness and understanding of this perplexing phenomenon.
Raynaud's is an interruption of blood flow to the fingers, toes, nose, and/or ears when a spasm occurs in the blood vessels of these areas. Spasms are caused by exposure to cold or emotional stress. Typically, the affected area turns white, then blue, then bright red over the course of the attack. There may be associated tingling, swelling, or painful throbbing. The attacks may last from minutes to hours. In severe cases, the area may develop ulcerations and infections, which can lead to gangrene. Raynaud’s can occur as a “primary” disease, that is, with no associated disorder. It can also occur as a “secondary” condition related to other diseases, such as scleroderma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.