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. 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!

  2. I had never heard of this disease until I read a lens about it on Squidoo. Are you more prone to things like frost bite too?

    • 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

  3. 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.

    • 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!

  4. 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.

    • 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?

  5. go to a sports store and see if they have neoprene or silk glove liners. also check out Patagonia.


  7. Hope Stevens says

    I have this-it’s an autoimmune disease-I also have celiac disease-I am full of fun things-lol!

    • 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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,


    • 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!

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

  11. 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”

  12. 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 !

  13. How do they test for this? Idk if I have it but my symptoms are very similar. My toes were very sore all fall and winter and cold and white or some times deep red. Now my finger tips just started turning purple. Some times white and they also turn numb mine is 4 toes on one foot and 3 on other and. Only fingers that don’t seem to have it are my pinkys. I also have joint pain in my feet and toes and fingers occasionally. A few other big joints too but not sure if it’s all related or not Dr thought I had gout but not sure I do. She told me to use cold water instead of heat when I soak my feet due to the gout but I have noticed that it some times it will make it worse.

    • Hey Holly. Oh my Gosh, definitely do not soak in cold water- that’s awful! I’m no doctor but based on your symptoms, and having had Raynaud’s since I was 14, I think I can say it sounds a whole heck of a lot like you have it as well. It’s very common in women. Especially hearing you have joint pain… it’s all autoimmune related.

      Ask for a blood test testing your ANA – it’s a thing called an antinuclear antibody and a lot of people with Raynaud’s have that in their bloodstream. It’s an autoimmune thing. Very easy to test. I think some people with Raynaud’s can still have that negative but for many it’s positive (mine is)

      But please don’t put your white fingers in cold water – just the idea of it is making my fingers feel cold right now! Warm water! It gets the blood flowing again.


  1. […] ‘Cuz it’s that time of year, plus I have Raynaud’sso I pretty much always have a pair in my bag mostly year round, even in the spring and […]

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