Often, the cause of Raynaud's isn't known. This type of Raynaud's is called Raynaud's disease or primary Raynaud's.
Sometimes a disease, condition, or other factor causes Raynaud's. This type of Raynaud's is called Raynaud's phenomenon or secondary Raynaud's.
Many things can cause secondary Raynaud's. Examples include:
Secondary Raynaud's is linked to diseases and conditions that directly damage the arteries. The disorder also is linked to diseases and conditions that damage the nerves that control the arteries in the hands and feet.
Scleroderma (skler-o-DER-ma) and lupus are two examples of conditions that can cause Raynaud's. About 9 out of 10 people who have scleroderma have Raynaud's. About 1 out of 3 people who has lupus has Raynaud's.
Other examples of diseases and conditions that can cause Raynaud's include:
Thyroid problems and pulmonary hypertension also may cause Raynaud's.
Repetitive actions that damage the arteries or the nerves that control the arteries in the hands and feet may lead to Raynaud's.
Typing, playing the piano, or doing other similar movements repeatedly over long periods may lead to secondary Raynaud's. Using vibrating tools, such as jackhammers and drills, also may raise your risk of developing Raynaud's.
Injuries to the hands or feet from accidents, frostbite, surgery, or other causes can lead to Raynaud's.
Exposure to certain workplace chemicals can cause a scleroderma-like illness that's linked to Raynaud's. An example of this type of chemical is vinyl chloride, which is used in the plastics industry.
The nicotine in cigarettes also can raise your risk of developing Raynaud's.
Certain medicines can cause secondary Raynaud's, including:
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.