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Peter Nigrovic, MD, Boston Children's Hospital Division of Immunology
Because our bodies are always reacting to the world around us, it’s normal for our faces, hands and even feet to change color in cold weather as the body uses blood flow to adjust its “thermostat.” But if your child has a rare condition known as Raynaud’s phenomenon, his blood vessels react in an exaggerated way to cold or stress, with his fingers or toes turning markedly blue and/or white, and sometimes red.
Seeing your child’s fingers turn blue in temperatures that feel comfortable to you can be a little frightening. However, for the vast majority of children with Raynaud’s phenomenon, the condition is little more than a nuisance and requires no medical treatment, only some simple lifestyle changes.
How Children’s Hospital Boston approaches Raynaud’s phenomenon
While pediatricians can diagnose Raynaud’s, the role of the rheumatologist is to detect any potential underlying cause—such as scleroderma or lupus—and then put together a comprehensive treatment plan. At Children’s, our rheumatologists are well prepared to meet this challenge:
Reviewed by Peter Nigrovic, MD © Children’s Hospital Boston, 2010
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