Raynaud’s Disease: These Are My Hands

So these are my hands.  I snapped these photos earlier today when I was out on a run.  Today and tomorrow are supposed to be on the warmer side here in Philly so I decided to take advantage and get outside in the fresh air.

But I wasn’t prepared – it wasn’t as warm as I thought and I have a little annoying thing called Raynaud’s Disease, which causes me to lose the blood circulation in my fingers and toes when it’s cold or damp out.  You can see that my fingers are swollen and the tips of several fingers had gone totally white with no blood circulation at all:



Most of the time it’s more annoying than anything but today it HURT.  If I’m out too long, the numbness gets kind of painful and I was kicking myself as I ran that I hadn’t thought to bring gloves.

Supposedly 1 in 4 women are affected by Raynaud’s – so what about you?  Do you have it?  Any tips for things that help?

My acupuncturist recently told me that adding Cayenne Pepper to one’s diet helps with blood circulation so I’m going to try that soon.


  1. mom-mom says

    that looks like it has gotten worse! if that’s possible- geeze louise- move to Florida!!!!!. .or if not that, take heated gloves with you ALWAYS in the winter!

    • says

      Moe – not that I’m aware of. I guess maybe? I never let it get that far. My guess is that I’m no more prone to it than you are tho since frostbite is the skin and this has to do with my blood? But I dunno really! Good question

  2. says

    I have it, too. I just try to bundle up and stay inside, but even that doesn’t help. I can wear very thick wool socks with my UGGs and my toes are still frozen.

    I am moving to Florida, so hopefully I don’t experience Raynaud’s as often as I do now.

    • says

      Wendy – how nice you are moving to Florida! My parents have been down there for years and I never get it when I’m down there so I bet you will be cured!

  3. says

    I have it too. I totally understand about it being mostly annoying, but on some days it really does hurt. I have bought pocket hand warmers so on cold days I can keep my hands warm without having to wear gloves all the time & I always wash my hands with warm water. I don’t know of any other tips. If you come across some I would love to hear them too! I live in CA so you’d think that most days it wouldn’t effect me, but I still have trouble almost daily.

    • says

      Jill – wow, really? I was in the Bay Area for a year (right in SF) and don’t remember it affecting me there but maybe I’m forgetting. I could see it being an issue on a cold, wet day in northern CA tho – is that where you are?

    • says

      Hope – no way! Did you have it when we were in HS? That’s when it started for me. I remember sitting on those bleachers watching Softball or towards the end of FH season and having it get really bad.
      It was worse in CT than it is here in Philly tho for sure.
      I’ve been tested for Celiacs – I have a rheumatologist who tests me every few years for autoimmune disorders since having Rayaud’s is a sign of having something but so far that’s all I have. I know it’s v. common to get it with Celiacs…

  4. says

    I just got diagnosed with this as well! My hands and feet are always cold if it’s under 65 degrees. It’s SO uncomfortable. Mine don’t get swollen that way-just cold, and then they turn blue.

  5. Erica says

    Hi Whitney!
    Just stumbled across your blog, and started reading…
    Then I saw this post!
    Both my mother and I have Raynaud’s. Here in CT, it’s usually pretty bad, however, this winter has been relatively mild, so I’ve only had a couple of incidences.
    Thankfully, mine isn’t too bad until I’m out in the cold for awhile, and it usually must be below freezing for it to happen for me!

    Sharing in your “white-finger” pain,


    • says

      Erica, I feel your pain (literally!) And I grew up in CT (and went to college there) so I totally know how bad it can get. Being in Philly now, it’s amazing what just a couple of hours south does to the temp & it really does make it better. Yeah this winter’s been mild so yay for us!
      Glad you found me – thanks for the comment and hope you come back again!

  6. Melanie says

    Do any of you have after affects after an episode where you feel weakness in the finger/s; hand that it happened to?

  7. says

    I was just diagnosed with Raynaud’s this week… in the midst of a visit to the Dr. Office. Sitting there waiting in my open back gown for an hour and a half! My feet had become completely white by the time the Dr. came in and so she could tell what it was right away. My Mom has it as well, so I was not surprised, and now have a new understanding of her pain! I was getting checked because I had had the most awful episode last week that had left me weak, sore, and with painful and swollen joints. I had blood tests to see if had Lupus, arthritis or some other issue as well. Thankfully those tests all came out negative. I found your blog while googling “Fashionable shoes for Raynauds”. Funny thing is I had just emailed Mommies with Style to do a product review of my company Tiny Turnip a couple months back… what a small world… what a “phenomenon”

  8. Johanne says

    Poor you! I also have it since I about 1.Mine get very bad usually all 8 fingers and toes and even my nose! Seeing that I live in Montreal qc it is very bad in the winter(meaning 7 months of the year!) I always have gloves even in summer as sometimes the air conditiong makes them start as well.And boy I share your pain ,it really hurts when the blood comes back!
    be well! as for me I am moving to Florida! i have had enough…good luck !

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