This month is Raynaud’s Awareness Month, and in this special article, our resident blogger and scleroderma patient, Nicola Whitehill shares her tips on how to better manage Raynaud’s during this seasonal change. Join her in “Show Your Colours For Raynauds Awareness.”
1. Don’t forget to take your medication
It’s important not to miss any dose of your medication. Try to organize your treatment plan ahead and, if necessary, spread notes and/or alarms around the house.
Despite there being approximately 300,000 people in the U.S. who have scleroderma, it seems that many people are either completely unaware of the disease or are confused as to what the disease actually is.
2. Try to reduce attacks (prevention is best as there is no cure)
Try to be organized and plan ahead as much as possible. For example, check the weather forecast in advance for outdoor trips.
3. Layer up: wear lots of clothing layers which can be removed easily, as well as put on easily.
Make sure all the body is warm, especially the trunk, as well as the extremities. I start my day with a warm bath to help fire up my circulation. Hoodies and hats with ear flaps are my preferred headwear choice as I experience Raynaud’s in my ear lobes; the slightest of breezes can set off an intense, very painful earache for me. I have gloves of all colors and thicknesses for the year. My winter gloves are Ugg sheepskin gloves, and should it be raining, I wear ski gloves. Luckily, I am still able to wear gloves with fingers, as my sclerodactyl hands only have a minimal curl. Footwear is also stepped up at the approach of autumn–thicker socks and Ugg boots.
4. Keep yourself warm.
At home, I use a microwaveable handwarmers for when I feel a temperature drop and can sense “losing my hands.” I use portable handwarmers for outside, which can be disposed of immediately or recharged by boiling them in water. The portable handwarmers are a handy size to fit in a mitten, which is the best type of glove for sclerodactyl hands.
5. Keep hydrated with warm drinks and nourishing soups.
What’s better than being all cosy inside, while the rain is hitting your window pane and you’re just relaxing with a cup of hot tea?
6. Avoid air conditioning and windy days.
Avoid air conditioning/drafts, and make sure not to go out on windy and/or rainy days. This will help you better manage your Raynaud’s.
7. Keep skin moisturized and hydrated.
A good cream will help you to prevent cracks/injuries.
Scleroderma News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.