“Baby, It’s Cold Outside…” by Maria Dorfner


Imagine walking around all day with a handful of ice cubes in your hands and in your socks.

THAT is what it feels like for children and adults with Raynaud’s.

It happens when they are exposed to extreme temperatures.  Sinatra singing, “Baby, it’s c-o-l-d outside…” takes on a whole new meaning for sufferers.

People with Raynaud’s suffer a lot more than the average bloke in cold temps.  Extremities like the nose, feet, hands and lips become extra, extra sensitive during this time.   Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP) can cause a series of changes in extreme hot or cold temperature, or even severe emotional events.   It’s actually painful because spasms of the blood vessels will cause not enough blood to get to local tissue in fingers and toes.   Some people aren’t even aware they have it.  Here’s a telltale sign.
It’s a patriotic montage of colors.  First, the skin turns white because of the diminished blood supply, then blue because of prolonged lack of oxygen, then red when the blood vessels reopen.  This American flag three-phase color sequence is characteristic of RP.

Raynaud’s phenomenon affects adults and children in the same way. It most frequently affects women, especially in the second, third, or fourth decades of life. People can have Raynaud’s phenomenon alone or as a part of other rheumatic diseases.  When it occurs alone, it is referred to as “Raynaud’s disease” or primary Raynaud’s phenomenon. When it accompanies other diseases, it is called secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon.


The causes of primary and secondary RP are unknown.  That doesn’t help anyone suffering from it, so below are a few items that can help.  The best thing you can do is bundle up when it’s cold.  For people with Raynaud’s, even walking past the frozen food section in the grocery store can be a trigger for spasms.

Picture of Raynaud's phenomenon

Raynaud’s phenomenon is a condition that affects blood flow to the extremities and causes pain, numbness and tingling. Extreme temperatures in Winter or Summer (shifts in any Season) or severe stress can trigger it. Some sufferers can’t walk past the frozen food section in a grocery store without it causing painful tingling or numbness or spasms.

Raynauds with Skin Lesions
Raynauds with Skin Lesions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s what happens.

A sudden chill may cause blood vessels to spasm, shutting off circulation and turning affected parts a ghostly shade of white or blue. Fingers, toes, hands, feet, lips and the tongue are most commonly afflicted, and they may become painfully cold, tingling or numb.


Icy cold feet, hands, toes, fingers, less commonly nose and ears, sometimes with pain and numbness. Skin color changes of white/blue/red as peripheral blood flow is reduced by the spasmodic contraction of the muscles in the blood vessel walls (the digits are usually affected), tissues become starved of oxygen (cyanosis), and blood flow returns (rubor). Not all color changes may be present or in that order nor are color changes necessary to be diagnosed with Raynaud’s, but they may develop later.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon At A Glance

  • Raynaud’s phenomenon is characterized by a pale to blue to red sequence of color changes of the digits, most commonly after exposure to cold.
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon occurs because of spasm of blood vessels.
  • The cause of Raynaud’s phenomenon is unknown, although abnormal nerve control of blood-vessel diameter and nerve sensitivity to cold are suspected of being involved.
  • Symptoms of Raynaud’s phenomenon depend on the severity, frequency, and duration of the blood-vessel spasm.
  • There is no blood test for diagnosing Raynaud’s phenomenon.


  • Treatment of Raynaud’s phenomenon involves protection of the digits, medications, and avoiding emotional stresses, smoking, cold temperature, and tools that vibrate the hands.

Good News: A new gel is being studied which might promote local production of nitric oxide in involved digits. The local nitric oxide, it seems, may open the blood vessels and improve the impaired circulation.

Until then, instead of wishing it away, below are the Best Gadgets for Raynaud’s to help keep you warm:



HOT HANDS! Traditional winter gloves don’t work with touchscreens, forcing smartphone users to freeze their fingers when they answer their phones, post to Facebook or send a text or tweet. But Agloves®, America’s best winter touchscreen gloves and the ultimate fusion of fashion and technology, work with all touchscreen devices and they can be worn indoors or out if you suffer from Raynaud’s. Cost $23.99. Available online at agloves.com and at selected retailers, including Best Buy and Verizon Wireless.

  • Heated Socks
  • G3 Gloveliners
  • WT2 Gloveliners
  • Heatdevil
  • Hotmitts
  • Heated Vest
  • G4 Fingerheaters
  • sports injury hot cold pain relief
  • Heated Socks

Warm mouse, warm hands, warm outlook

A company called ValueRays, sells heated keyboard wrist pads, mouse pads, and other computer peripherals, all emitting USB infrared heat. They specialize in heated computer gadgets. These products are used by regular folks, as well as suffers of Raynauds, arthritis, carpal tunnel, and a host of other ailments.

Here’s a website with all the products.

TheFatcat ChargeCarddistributed by Mango International is just-under 2-x4-inch device, billed as the lightest, slimmest portable charger available, allows you to charge your gadgets on the go, especially helpful if you can’t find a power source, don’t have time to sit there while charging, or are in a country or outdoor setting where power is unavailable.

The card weighs 2 ounces and is a quarter of an inch thick. It has a 2000 mAh lithium battery, twice the capacity of the typical cell phone battery, and comes outfitted with tips to fit a variety of popular cell phones, smartphones, iPods, GPS units, etc.

If you are usually working on the road, this is a product to consider purchasing. It’s sold online from $30 to $50. Of course you have to keep the charger charged, and you have to remember to bring it with you.

Wessel’s parents have the most amazing solution for cold feet of the literal kind — an electric “voetenwarmzak” — a “warm sack” for your feet.

Here’s a new Dutch modelonline, for $47.

Usb_glovesThese USB-heated gloves might be good for the blogger with Raynaud’s Syndrome.
The heated slippers don’t match the gloves, but who cares if your tootsies are toasty.

FIR Raynaud’s Gloves, Hottest Product for Raynaud’s Symptom
The Far Infrared therapy Raynauds gloves have been proven in clinical trials to improve blood circulation and relieve pain associated with Raynaud’s disease, currently on sale at Far Infrared Clothing Market of firheals.com .

Heatbands are a brand new product, designed specifically for Raynaud’s sufferers to help keep the hands warm. They can be worn all day around the wrists and unlike heated gloves or many types of hand warmer, they work by preventing heat loss from the wrists, the most vulnerable area directly effecting the hands. Heatbands are attractive (available in a choice of 4 colours), convenient and unobtrusive and can be worn with your normal clothing and are inexpensive at £12.95 for a months supply (pack of 60).

Heatbands can help to keep your hands warm during any activity including: walking, shopping, running, cycling, tennis, golf, fishing, mountain biking, gardening, horse-riding, working on the computer, etc etc. For more information visit http://www.heatbands.com

For the best doctors, tips around the web and latest news on Raynaud’s, please visit THE RAYNAUD’S ASSOCIATION at www.raynauds.org


FAST FACTS ABOUT RAYNAUD’S: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Raynauds_Phenomenon/raynauds_ff.as

Hope this helps you or someone you love.  Stay toasty!!!  🙂



If you like the Sinatra print, visit www.Giftarium.com  

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