Fall 2019 Member Tips

Steve, a lifelong primary Raynaud’s sufferer, shared with us his discovery of a simple, non-invasive method that works to lessen the effects of Raynaud’s for him, and agreed to let us share it in our Fall 2019 Member Tips post.

He places two chemical hand warmers on his head (e.g. HotHands and Grabber brands), then covers them with an insulated cap. Yep, that’s it! Sounds simple, but it’s really made a big difference in Steve’s life. Scientists now debunk the myth that we lose most of our body heat through our heads, but there is support for the fact that the face, head and upper chest are up to five times as sensitive to changes in temperature as other areas of the body*, so there is some merit to Steve’s approach!

Steve’s an active outdoor person – loves snowboarding and golf, and his Raynaud’s attacks got in the way of being able to do the things he loves. Here’s what he told us:

As an active snowboarder, I used to wear 3 layers of well-insulated gloves with a hand warmer in each hand.  The results were always the same.  My fingers turned white, I had no feeling in my fingers and was unable to grasp or manipulate things with my hands.  I always worried that I might have an emergency on the hill and be unable to use my hands to respond to the emergency.  Using my new approach, I still use multiple gloves, but put the hand warmers on my head, cover my head with a cap and a helmet.  The result is not like summertime, but is a vast improvement over the traditional methods to combat Raynaud’s.”

Using this head warmer strategy, he’s back to playing golf in the winter. No more lack of feeling to control the golf club. It’s not a real cure, but his Raynaud’s bothers him much less now.

Another option Frosties might consider: HXT makes a heated fleece hat with three chambers to insert microwaveable gel packs. The chambers cover both ears and the back of the neck. Also Hot Hands makes a knit Watch Cap with built in pockets for hand warmers to cover and warm your ears. Not sure if the effect with these products would mimic Steve’s strategy where the heat is placed directly on the top of the head, but they might work for some living with Raynaud’s.

Steve contacted us and wanted to share his success using this method with fellow Frosties. He says maybe it only works for him, but there’s really no downside to trying this!

What are your ideas?  What products work for you?  Write to: info@raynauds.org.  Post them in our Discussion Forum.  Or join us on Facebook.

* “The Claim: You Lose Most of Your Body Heat Through Your Head,” New York Times, October 26, 2004.

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