Popsicle Fingers

I have Reynaud's syndrome. How can I keep my fingers warm?

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I have Raynaud’s syndrome, and last winter, my fingers got painfully cold after hiking for an hour at 30 degrees while wearing heavy ski gloves. How can I keep my hands warm hiking in North Carolina in November?

Submitted by – Linda, Micanopy, FL


Raynaud’s, as you probably know, manifests with varying levels of severity. The least problematic cases can be alleviated with some basic attention to details, such as: dressing warmly, wearing a hat, and making sure your body as well as your arms and hands are adequately covered. Wearing mittens (instead of gloves) and putting a small heat pack in your palms (inside your mittens) sometimes helps, too. Stay hydrated and don’t get hungry outside in the cold (food keep the internal fires burning). You also should avoid several drugs that can make Raynaud’s worse. Pseudoephedrine is one of them. Your doc can probably name others. Some drugs may help, such as a daily aspirin—an 81 mg aspirin will probably be enough. If none of this helps, you should talk to your doc about specific treatments that only he or she can give you, such as prescription drugs that help keep your blood vessels open. —Buck