There are two main classifications of Raynaud's: Primary and Secondary. In a nutshell, Primary Raynaud’s happens on its own while Secondary Raynaud’s accompanies some other health condition.

  • Primary Raynaud's is the more common form, and isn't the result of an underlying associated medical condition that could provoke vasospasm (like Lupus, Scleroderma, and Rheumatoid Arthritis). Primary Raynaud's tends to be less severe than Secondary Raynaud's. It is estimated that Primary Raynaud's is severely under diagnosed, as some sufferers simply think they are overly sensitive to cold! This condition tends to progress with age.
  • Secondary Raynaud's is caused by an underlying health condition. While Secondary Raynaud's is less common than the primary form, it tends to be more serious. Signs and symptoms of Secondary Raynaud's usually appear later in life—around the age of 40. This is sometimes referred to as White Finger Disease


  • Connective tissue diseases. Most people who have a rare disease that leads to hardening and scarring of the skin (Scleroderma) have Raynaud's. Other diseases that increase the risk of Raynaud's include Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjogren's Syndrome.
  • Diseases of the arteries. Raynaud's phenomenon can be associated with various diseases that affect arteries, such as the buildup of plaques in blood vessels that feed the heart (Atherosclerosis) or a disorder in which the blood vessels of the hands and feet become inflamed (Buerger's Disease). A type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries of the lungs (Primary Pulmonary Hypertension) can also be linked to Raynaud's.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition involves pressure on a major nerve to your hand (Median Nerve) producing numbness and pain in the affected hand. The hand may become more susceptible to cold temperatures and episodes of Raynaud's attacks.
  • Repetitive action or vibration. Typing, playing piano or doing similar movements for long periods as well as operating vibrating tools, such as jackhammers, can increase your risk of developing Raynaud's.
  • Smoking. Smoking constricts blood vessels and carries the potential of causing Raynaud's to develop.
  • Injuries. Injuries to the hands or feet, such as wrist fracture, surgery or frostbite, can lead to Raynaud's.
  • Certain medications. Some drugs—including beta blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure; migraine medications that contain ergotamine or sumatriptan; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medications; certain chemotherapy agents; and drugs that cause blood vessels to narrow, such as some over-the-counter cold medications—have been linked to Raynaud's.

Learn more about the factors that contribute to Raynaud's by visiting nih & mayo clinic