Raynaud’s disease gloves and hand care tips. I’m Clare, my role is to learn from people who have this condition and understand what you / they need from gloves so that I can provide gloves via lovelyhands.co.uk that help you / them carry on their lives with more comfortable, usable hands.
Top glove tips –
- Put your gloves on indoors, in a warm room – ensure your hands and the glove material is warm, avoid leaving gloves in a cold porch or running out the door putting them on.
- Hands need to be warm before being put in gloves – the circulation in the hands generates the heat, the gloves help retain that heat, and provide a barrier against the cold. If hands are cold when put in the gloves they can remain cold unless the circulation is stimulated i.e. by a brisk walk.
- When hands are warm and protected from the cold by gloves an attack is less likely.
- When wearing gloves you need to ensure that your circulation is still stimulated so heat is generated, some people advocate regularly moving their whole arm in a few circles to achieve this.
- To be able to wear gloves to protect the hands from drops in temperature you will need to find gloves that suit different jobs. Sometimes a thicker thermal or thinsulate glove can be worn, for other tasks or jobs a finer glove is required. Sometimes you might want to layer 2 gloves.
- People really recommend keeping the wrists warm which in turn keeps the hands warm. Look for extended wrists on your gloves to offer this warmth, or they are useful to tuck/ overlap clothes or heat bags into.
- For outdoors gloves consider the additional benefits of gloves that are waterproof and windproof. Contact with water or wind, when the outdoor temperatures are already low, could cause the circulation in the hands to constrict leading to an attack.
- Mittens can be good at times as the fingers and thumb are together combining their warmth, also there could be space for a heat bag.
During and after an attack it might be best to have the hands out of the gloves to be rubbed until the temperature returns to normal, as if they stay in cold gloves their temperature could take longer to return.
Tips for getting the circulation in the hands back after an attack –
- Move to a warmer indoor environment so your whole body is warm.
- Remove restrictive clothing – during and after an attack it would be best to have the hands out of the gloves to be stimulated until their temperature returns to normal, as if they stay in cold gloves their temperature could take longer to return.
- Breathing on the hands, rubbing them and the arm, putting them into a sink of warm water, holding a warm cup or tucking into arm pits, stimulating the circulation by moving the whole arm in a few circles can all help to return the local circulation in the hands.
- Check if you are holding your head / neck / shoulders / arms in a tense way due to being cold and fed up – then move them to warm up and reset your posture. This will boost the circulation that is on its way to and from your hands.
- Hands are one extremity that looses heat, the other 2 main ones are the head and the feet. By ensuring you have the right clothing on your head and feet will serve to boost your overall circulation and benefit your hands. So if having an attack on your hands, see if getting a hat on, making sure your feet are warm helps. A warm room could be easier initially when the hands just feel numb.
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