Category : Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Cold Hand Disease Hand Therapy Raynaud's Phenomenon

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Cold Weather Tips for Raynaud’s

Cold weather can bring misery to people with Raynaud’s. Frigid temperatures trigger an abnormal response of constriction (or narrowing) of the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, nose and/or ears interrupting blood flow. As a result, fingers turn white and blue when cold, then bright red when warming and are extremely painful.

If you have Raynaud’s, you are at greater risk for frostbite and may develop sores on the tips of your fingers. You can still enjoy winter activities. Most of the symptoms can be managed with prevention and some lifestyle changes. Here are a few suggestions:

Wear gloves and mittens. Mittens tend to keep hands warmer than fingered gloves. Fingerless gloves with mitten caps are a great option and can also be used indoors as well.

Layer your clothing. Keep your body warm with layers. The Raynaud’s response occurs when the body becomes cold, not just your hands and feet. Wristies® and Limbkeepers® are two products that help with layering.

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Raynaud’s Disease: Why Your Hands and Feet Hurt So Badly When They’re Cold

from SELF

Winter is terrible for many reasons, seasonal affective disorder, treacherous slicks of ice, and the infinite quest for moisturized skin among them. But for people with Raynaud’s disease (sometimes called Raynaud’s phenomenon or syndrome), winter can also make their hands and feet go numb, then ache, and even turn every color of the American flag in the process. It would be an impressive party trick if it weren’t so painful.

Raynaud’s symptoms are painfully distinct.

It’s not just that your fingers feel cold when you trudge through the snow (or frolic, depending on your opinion of winter). “It’s impressive, this change,” vascular surgeon Daiva Nevidomskyte, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Duke University School of Medicine, tells SELF. “Within a couple of minutes, people’s fingers turn pale, then blue, and once they’re reheated, they turn red. It’s a pretty dramatic response.”

Beyond the visible changes, when someone is having a Raynaud’s attack, the lack of blood flow will lead to numbness and pain in the affected body part as it turns white and blue. When the blood flow returns, the body part starts to redden, and nerves reacting to the renewed circulation will cause tingling, throbbing, or burning, Mounir Haurani, M.D., vascular surgeon and assistant professor at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF.

Read the full story.

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Cold Hands May Signal Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Close up of young beautiful woman hands holding hot cup of coffee or tea. Morning coffee cold season office coffee break or coffee lover concept.

from the New York Times

The adage “Cold hands, warm heart” might describe me accurately if it also included “cold feet.” Every autumn, even before the leaves begin to fall from their airy perch, I begin an annual search for better ways to keep my hands and feet from freezing during the coming winter.

My investment in mittens and boots could stock a store and includes what is touted as the warmest of warm, but so far no product has been sufficiently protective. The popular advice, “Move to a warmer climate,” doesn’t mesh with my life’s interests, and so the search continues.

I may or may not have a version of Raynaud’s phenomenon, but I can surely empathize with those who do. First described in 1862 by a French medical student named Maurice Raynaud, it is characterized by highly localized cold-induced spasms of small blood vessels that disrupt blood flow to the extremities, most often the fingers and toes and sometimes also the tips of the ears and nose.

Viewed in the best possible light, it is a patriotic disorder: Affected areas typically turn white when vessels collapse and cut off blood flow, then blue for lack of oxygen-rich blood, then red as blood flow is gradually restored when the areas rewarm.

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