Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You can take a number of steps to help manage your symptoms of scleroderma:

  • Stay active. Exercise keeps your body flexible, improves circulation and relieves stiffness. Range-of-motion exercises can help keep your skin and joints flexible.
  • Don't smoke. Nicotine causes blood vessels to contract, making Raynaud's phenomenon worse. Smoking can also cause permanent narrowing of your blood vessels. Quitting smoking is difficult — ask your doctor for help.
  • Manage heartburn. Avoid foods that give you heartburn or gas. Also avoid late-night meals. Elevate the head of your bed to keep stomach acid from backing up into your esophagus (reflux) as you sleep. Antacids may help relieve symptoms.
  • Protect yourself from the cold. Wear warm mittens for protection anytime your hands are exposed to cold — even when you reach into a freezer. When you're outside in the cold, cover your face and head and wear layers of warm clothing.
Jun. 14, 2013