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2. Raynaud’s Phenomenon

The second symptom of CREST is Raynaud’s phenomenon, a condition that results in poor blood flow to the many small blood vessels that supply the fingers and toes. Spasms in low temperatures or emotionally stressful conditions block blood flow, and the skin pales before becoming numb and cold and turning blue or grey. As circulation returns to the fingers and toes, the skin reddens and may tingle or throb. Though Raynaud’s phenomenon is usually the first symptom of CREST syndrome, many people have Raynaud’s but not scleroderma.

raynauds phenomenon finger color Barb Elkin / Getty Images
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