Harvard Heart Letter

Raynaud's: The big chill for fingers and toes

Blood vessel spasms can make the cold a painful experience.

In 1862, Maurice Raynaud wrote about 25 patients who developed "pale, cold fingers" in response to cold temperatures. The paleness later gave way to a bluish, then a mottled red color. The young physician believed that a nerve problem was the cause.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »