A variety of steps can decrease Raynaud's attacks and help you feel better.
- Don't smoke. Smoking causes skin temperature to drop by constricting blood vessels, which may lead to an attack. Inhaling secondhand smoke also can aggravate Raynaud's.
- Exercise. Exercise can increase circulation, among other health benefits. If you have secondary Raynaud's, talk to your doctor before exercising outdoors in the cold.
- Control stress. Learning to recognize and avoid stressful situations may help control the number of attacks.
- Avoid rapidly changing temperatures. Try not to move from a hot environment to an air-conditioned room. If possible, avoid frozen-food sections of grocery stores.
During an attack: What should you do?
First, warm your hands, feet or other affected areas. To gently warm your fingers and toes:
- Get indoors or to a warmer area
- Wiggle your fingers and toes
- Place hands under armpits
- Make wide circles (windmills) with your arms
- Run warm — not hot — water over your fingers and toes
- Massage your hands and feet
If stress triggers an attack, get out of the stressful situation and relax. Practice a stress-reduction technique that works for you, and warm your hands or feet in water to help lessen the attack.
Oct. 07, 2014
- Wigley FM. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of the Raynaud phenomenon. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 20, 2014.
- Questions and answers about Raynaud's phenomenon. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Raynauds_Phenomenon/default.asp. Accessed Aug. 20, 2014.
- Wigley FM. Initial treatment of the Raynaud phenomenon. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 20, 2014.
- Raynaud's disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/raynaud/ray_all.html. Accessed Aug. 20, 2014.
- Malenfant D, et al. The efficacy of complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of Raynaud's phenomenon: A literature review and meta-analysis. Rheumatology. 2009;48:791.
- Natural product effectiveness checker: Raynaud's syndrome. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Aug. 28, 2014.
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