Raynaud's Disease and Phenomenon Treatment
- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Treat Raynaud's Disease and Phenomenon
There are several ways to reduce the symptoms of Raynaud's during an attack:
Create Warmth for Fingers and Toes
- Run warm (not hot) water over fingers and toes as quickly as possible. However, do not place anything hot on your skin, as it may cause damage.
- If you are outside, move inside.
- Place your hands on a warm area of the body, such as under your armpits or on the abdomen.
Stimulate Blood Flow
Try to stimulate blood circulation by wiggling your fingers and toes, and making wide circles with your arms.
When the above measures fail, medications may help relieve symptoms, and even help begin to heal skin ulcers that have formed. Medications may include:
- Calcium channel blockers, such as nifedipine (eg, Adalat, Procardia, Afeditab, Nifediac)
- Alpha-blockers, such as prazosin (eg, Minipress)
- Vasodilators, such as a nitroglycerin cream (eg, EMLA)
Rarely, surgery may be done when symptoms are persistent and debilitating. This involves cutting the sympathetic nerves that supply the affected fingers (called sympathectomy). In extremely rare instances, a finger of toe that has suffered gangrene may require amputation.
Chemicals may be injected into the sympathetic nerve that is responsible for blood vessel constriction.
Treating Underlying Medical Condition
If you have Raynaud's phenomena, successful management of the underlying connective tissue or vascular disorder can help to relieve symptoms.