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For most people, primary Raynaud's can be annoying and cause discomfort, but is rarely dangerous. Although it is typically a lifelong condition, it frequently does not get worse. In cases in which the vasospasm is severe, the affected areas may be prone to open sores that are slow to heal.

Raynaud's phenomenon, however, may be the first symptom of a rheumatic disease. So the condition should not be ignored. Patients may need to be examined, tested and monitored to diagnose an associated rheumatic disease at its earliest stage.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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