Got Raynaud’s? Warm water may not be your friend

When I first started having multiple Raynaud’s flare-ups a day, I swear I spent half my life standing at a faucet. And why not? I thought I’d figured out the most reliable way to reinvigorate my white, bloodless fingers. 

First, I’d adjust the knobs to the exact, not-too-hot warmth level. Then I’d hold my hands under running water for a few or several minutes — as long as it took for my fingertips to turn from white to purple to normal again. 

You can’t even scroll through your phone when doing this routine. It’s as tedious as it gets. Especially when you’re doing it numerous times a day.

But I couldn’t argue with the results, right? Blood flow, after all, WAS being restored. 

Well… upon closer inspection, I realized I was making the problem worse.  

I started to notice that reheating my hands with warm water was leaving them moist even if I dried them thoroughly with a towel afterward. The residual moisture would immediately become freezing-cold, which would in turn make my hands cold. Soon I’d be right back at the faucet. 

It was a chain reaction, a domino effect, a Catch-22, the proverbial vicious cycle! You get the idea. It wasn’t helping.

These days, I rarely use warm water to reheat my hands, and I only get them wet when I need to. I much prefer the subtler, steadier warming of heated gloves. 

What’s your experience with Raynaud’s and warm water? 

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