How can FootHuggers Comfort Socks
What's the best tight fitting gloves for raynauds?
Raynaud's syndrome is a painful condition usually affecting the hands and feet. Raynaud's syndrome is due to poor circulation. The tiny blood vessels in the affected area close down, supplying very little blood to the extremities. Numbness results and on warming, the area may throb painfully.
When a person is exposed to cold, the body's normal response is to slow the loss of heat and preserve its core temperature. To maintain this temperature, the blood vessels that control blood flow to the skin surface move blood from arteries near the surface to veins deeper in the body.
For people who have Raynaud's syndrome, this normal body response is intensified by the sudden spasmodic contractions of the small blood vessels that supply blood to the fingers and toes. The arteries of the fingers and toes may also collapse. As a result, the blood supply to the extremities is greatly decreased, causing a reaction that includes skin discoloration and other changes.
Once the attack begins, a person may experience three phases of skin color changes (white, blue, and red) in the fingers or toes. The order of the changes of color is not the same for all people, and not everyone has all three colors.
Pallor (whiteness) may occur in response to spasm of the arterioles and the resulting collapse of the digital arteries.
Cyanosis (blueness) may appear because the fingers or toes are not getting enough oxygen-rich blood.
The fingers or toes may also feel cold and numb. Finally, as the arterioles dilate and blood returns to the digits, redness may occur. As the attack ends, throbbing and tingling may occur in the fingers and toes. An attack can last from less than a minute to several hours.
When Raynaud's syndrome occurs alone it is known as primary Raynaud's; when it occurs with another related condition it is known as secondary Raynaud's syndrome.
Raynaud's syndrome occurs in up to 5% of typical healthy populations. Over 90% of patients with Raynaud's syndrome are female and under 25 years of age when they first develop the syndrome.
Most people who have Raynaud's syndrome have the primary form (the milder version). A person who has primary Raynaud's syndrome has no underlying disease or associated medical problems. More women than men are affected, and approximately 75% of all cases are diagnosed in women who are between 15 and 40 years old.
Research shows that less than 10% of people who have only vasospastic attacks for several years, without involvement of other body systems or organs, rarely have or will develop a secondary disease later.
Secondary Raynaud's Syndrome
Although secondary Raynaud's syndrome is less common than the primary form, it is often a more complex and serious disorder. Secondary means that patients have an underlying disease or condition that causes Raynaud's syndrome. Connective tissue diseases are the most common cause of secondary Raynaud's syndrome. Some of these diseases reduce blood flow to the digits by causing blood vessel walls to thicken and the vessels to constrict too easily.
Diagnosis of Raynaud's syndrome and related conditions
Diagnosis of primary and secondary Raynaud's syndrome includes clinical examination and laboratory investigations.
The most simple examination is viewing of the affected area during or soon after an episode, by a doctor. Further physical examination includes assessment of peripheral pulses, measurement of blood pressure in both arms, and examination of the neck for tenderness often associated with a cervical rib.
The development of gangrene due to Raynaud's syndrome is relatively rare, and because patients are often young, recovery may be remarkable.
Up to 5% of patients with Raynaud's syndrome eventually develop an autoimmune rheumatic disease like
What are autoimmune rheumatic diseases
How is Raynaud's treated?
Some patients with primary Raynaud's and most with the condition secondary to an underlying autoimmune rheumatic disease require drug treatment. Medication appropriate to the individual patient should be discussed with a doctor.
A very good resource for understanding many aspects of Raynaud's is to contact the Raynaud's Association at Raynauds.org
Prevention & Care
Prevention measures are important in primary and secondary Raynaud's syndrome regardless of the severity. Initial simple care:
Keep the body warm, especially the extremities. (Products like FootHuggers and WristHuggers help keep extremities warm.)
Wear warm clothing in colder environments.
Keep room temperatures warm.
Avoid compression of the blood vessels by tight-fitting wristbands, rings or foot wear. Special care of nails is needed to avoid injuring sensitive toes and fingertip.
Smoking (and passive smoking) should be avoided as the chemicals in tobacco smoke can cause blood vessels to constrict and harden the arteries, which further impairs oxygen supply to the extremities.
Patients should guard hands and feet from direct trauma and wounds. Any wounds or infections need early treatment to prevent more serious infections. Avoiding emotional stresses and tools that vibrate the hand may reduce the frequency of attacks.
The Raynaud's Association has discovered and tested among their staff two products that can help. In fact, here is a webpage from their website: FootHuggers and WristHuggers
We found two wonderful products from a family-run company in Minnesota. Both are made of Polartec®, but the fabric is a thinner version than used for most apparel, keeping you dry, warm and comfy but without weight and bulk.
Foothuggers socks do a great job of keeping feet warm with a soft, cushiony, stretchy feel. While we've seen Polartec® socks before, these are so thin they actually take up less space than typical cotton socks, thus accommodating most shoes and avoiding that "stuffed in" feeling.
Each sock is individually hand sewn with flat seams that run along the sides of the foot, not across the toe which can be sensitive after severe Raynaud's attacks. And their body-hugging 4-way stretch material pulls moisture and sweat away, drying at least twice as fast as cotton to keep feet dry.
Can FootHuggers really help?
Dear John & Sarah.
We sent the FootHuggers Comfort Sock samples which you provided to a few of our Raynaud's members here in Cheshire, England who have real problems trying to keep their feet warm. Please find attached their evaluations and comments. As you will see the socks have been a resounding success - proving to be very popular with our sample of Raynaud's Syndrome sufferers.
Thank you for giving our Raynaud's & Scleroderma Association the opportunity to trial the socks.
Fiona, age 25-34, Crew sock. Results: Excellent; Very happy with the fit; Superb fit and very cozy; Once you've tried FootHuggers you will never want to wear any others; I would buy them.
Kathryn, age 25-34, Crew sock. Results: Excellent; Very happy with the fit; I like the soft material & ease of getting them on; FootHuggers kept my feet warm, which I usually find difficult with my Raynaud's. They helped to maintain the temperature of my feet which ended up helping my ulcers; I would buy them.
Melanie, age 35-44, Anklet sock. Results: Excellent; Very happy with the fit; They are so warm and snug fitting; FootHuggers are perfect. They hug your feet and keep them warm; I would buy them.
Anne, age 65+, Anklet sock. Results: Excellent; Very happy with the fit; Very comfy and warm; Most effective socks I've tried; I would buy them.