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Raynaud's Phenomenon - Home Treatment

Symptoms of Raynaud's phenomenon can often be relieved by home treatment.

To prevent or relieve symptoms that affect your hands or feet:

  • Wear mittens or gloves anytime it is cool outside. Mittens are warmer than gloves, because they keep your fingers together. Gloves underneath mittens will keep your hands warmer than gloves alone.
  • Wear mittens or gloves or use pot holders or oven mitts when getting something from the freezer or refrigerator.
  • Drink hot liquids. This helps maintain your internal body temperature.
  • When drinking from a cold container such as a can or bottle, use an insulated cover.
  • Warm your hands by running warm water over them or rubbing them together. This often will increase blood flow to your hands, relieving an attack of Raynaud's phenomenon. Be careful not to burn your hands under water that is too hot.
  • Wear wool, synthetic, or cotton-blend socks rather than pure cotton socks. They keep your feet drier and warmer by pulling moisture away from your skin.
  • Use foot powder to help absorb moisture from your feet. When your feet are damp, they are more easily chilled.
  • Swing your arms rapidly in a circle at the sides of your body ("windmilling"), which can temporarily increase blood flow into your fingers.

To keep your whole body warm:

  • Wear layers of warm clothing. The inner layer should be made of a material such as polypropylene that pulls moisture away from your body.
  • Wear a hat. You lose more body heat from your head than from any other part of your body.
  • Do not wear clothing that is too tight. Tight clothing can decrease or cut off circulation.
  • Try to stay dry. Choose waterproof, breathable jackets and boots. Being wet makes you more likely to become chilled.
  • Keep rooms at the same temperature.

In general:

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  • Quit smoking, and avoid caffeine (in coffee, some soft drinks, and nonherbal teas). Nicotine and caffeine can cause blood vessels to become narrower (constrict). These drugs may trigger an attack of Raynaud's phenomenon or make an attack worse.
  • Avoid taking certain medicines that may cause or aggravate Raynaud's phenomenon, such as drugs that affect blood flow, including cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine; some heart and blood medicines; and migraine headache medicines. Do not stop taking medicines your doctor has prescribed, such as beta-blockers, without talking with your doctor. Talk to your doctor about other steps you can take to reduce the effect of Raynaud's phenomenon while still taking these medicines.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration, which can lower the amount of blood moving through the blood vessels and help bring on an attack of Raynaud's phenomenon or make an attack worse.
  • Try eating a hot meal before going outside. Although there is no proof that this will help, some people believe that eating raises your body temperature and helps keep you warm.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 30, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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