Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Keep warm

To reduce Raynaud's symptoms, wear gloves or mittens outdoors when the weather is cool and indoors when you reach into the freezer. To maintain your body's core temperature, dress in layers and wear a hat or scarf, thermal socks, and well-fitting boots or shoes that don't cut off your circulation.

Don't smoke

If you smoke, talk to your doctor about the best ways to quit. Nicotine constricts your blood vessels, making Raynaud's phenomenon worse.

Change eating habits

If you have difficulty swallowing, choose soft, moist foods and chew them well. To minimize acid reflux:

  • Eat small, frequent meals
  • Avoid spicy or fatty foods, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol
  • Don't exercise immediately before or after eating
  • Sit upright for two or three hours after a meal

Protect your skin

Excess collagen destroys sweat and oil glands, leaving your skin stiff and dry. To help soften your skin:

  • Avoid harsh soaps and detergents. Choose cleansing creams or gentle skin cleansers and bath or shower gels with added moisturizers.
  • Reduce bathing frequency. Bathe just once a day or every other day, and take brief baths and showers, using warm rather than hot water.
  • Moisturize. Apply a rich oil-based moisturizer immediately after washing your hands or bathing, while your skin is still damp.
  • Apply sunscreen. To prevent further damage to your skin, apply sunscreen before you go outside.
  • Use a humidifier. Increase moisture levels in your home by using a humidifier.

Practice good oral hygiene

Be sure to have regular checkups and use any special rinses or toothpastes your dentist recommends. If your mouth is chronically dry, try drinking more water and sucking on ice chips or hard, sugarless candy. When these measures fail, your dentist may prescribe a medication to stimulate the flow of saliva.

Jun. 02, 2011