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raynauds attack volt heated gloves

WHY DO MY HANDS TURN WHITE AND GO NUMB?

April 05, 2023

The image below is my left hand and what happens in outside temperatures that most would not consider very cold. It doesn’t take much. This image is from a pretty balmy evening after my son’s baseball practice where it was 52 degrees in Northeast Florida with a cold breeze. 

raynauds cold white numb fingers

I suffer from secondary Raynaud’s Disease where my fingers go numb in areas where I have scar tissue and nerve damage as a result of bad cuts that required stitches. I have to be aware of the ambient temperature, wind chill and how I am dressed if I am going to spend any time outdoors in the cold. I try to make sure to have my heated gloves or heated mitts ready for use but there are times where it just sneaks up on me and I am not prepared. 

We are all different when it comes to sensitivity to the cold. And that sensitivity can vary from day to day depending on many factors, some you wouldn’t even consider. How much sleep you get, your diet and stress all play roles in your body’s thermal regulation.

Some of you are just lucky and don’t get cold. I don’t suspect any of those people are reading this blog post but some might be who are shopping for a loved one. Some of you might have just started experiencing the effects from the cold for the first time in your life and are searching for options. Maybe you moved to a colder climate, maybe you started a new medication causing side effects or maybe you just can’t deal with cold as you did when you were younger. There are many things in life that can change that affect how our bodies regulate thermal comfort. 

So what do you do about it? 

1. The obvious solution would be to avoid cold temperatures but for most that is not an option. I live in NE Florida and have more bouts with Raynaud’s than I did living in WA state because the humidity/cold wind triggers it or I find myself not properly dressed. I find that the best solution is doing everything  I can do before, to prevent my body from getting cold. 

2. Don’t wait until you are feeling the effects from the cold coming over you. Dress appropriately and make sure you keep your core warm.  If your core isn’t warm then your body is going to go into vasoconstriction and rob blood from your extremities. For some even if you have on heated gloves, if you get to this stage, your hands are still going to feel cold. If I am going to be in extreme cold I will power on my heated gear while indoors, almost overheating myself, where when I go out into the cold my body is already warm. 

3. Make sure you use heated gloves that have heat on both sides of the hand where the heat can penetrate and surround the fingers in a cocoon of warmth. Wear a heated vest that sends body to your core and ideally wear a layer over that vest where the insulation or CLO factor can increase by up to 250%. Simply adding a layer over a heated garment really helps insulate and keep heat around your body. 

Living with Raynaud’s you have to learn what situations could trigger an attack and be prepared for those situations. Volt Heated Clothing has many options to choose from for a wide variety of activities to help you be prepared. 




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