How is Raynaud's treated?

Marie D. Gerhard-Herman, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There are a number of medications that can help treat Raynaud's phenomenon. In this video, cardiovascular medicine specialist Marie Gerhard-Herman, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, talks about the different treatment options.
Paula Rackoff, MD

Treatments for Raynaud's include lifestyle changes - like wearing hats/mittens/socks - and exercising regularly; there are also medications that can help ease symptoms. Watch rheumatologist Paula Rackoff, MD, share the various treatment options.

Stephen Wechsler
Chiropractic Medicine

I have treated 3 patients, one with severe symptoms of numbness, ulcers, and pain. She has also had three surgeries to correct blood flow.

I used Avalon Light Therapy over a three month period. Most results were seen with a few days to a few weeks. The patient actually purchased her own unit to treat herself as well as her family.

She had a 15-20 degrees rise in temperature at the finger tips, measured by her physician. No more nerve pain from nerve damage and no more ulcers since the first few weeks of care.

Primary Raynaud's (Raynaud's disease) and secondary Raynaud's (Raynaud's phenomenon) have no cure. However, treatments can reduce the number and severity of Raynaud's attacks. Treatments include lifestyle changes, medicines, and, rarely, surgery.
Most people who have primary Raynaud's can manage the condition with lifestyle changes. People who have secondary Raynaud's may need medicines in addition to lifestyle changes. Rarely, they may need surgery or shots.
If you have Raynaud's and develop sores on your fingers, toes, or other parts of your body, see your doctor right away. Timely treatment can help prevent permanent damage to these areas.
Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle changes can help you avoid things that may trigger a Raynaud's attack.Examples of such triggers include cold temperatures, emotional stress, workplace or recreational factors, and contact with certain chemicals or medicines.
Protect Yourself from Cold Temperatures
You can take steps to protect yourself from cold temperatures. For example:
  • Wear a hat, mittens (rather than gloves), scarf, coat with snug cuffs, and warm socks and shoes during cold weather. Layer your clothing for extra warmth.
  • Put hand and foot warmers in your mittens, boots, socks, or pockets. Some warmers are small heat packs, and others are battery-operated. These heat packs often are available at sporting goods stores.
  • Turn down air conditioning or dress warmly while in an air-conditioned space.
  • Warm up your car before driving in cold weather.
  • Wear gloves or mittens when taking food out of the refrigerator or freezer (if cold temperatures severely affect you).
This answer from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. William D. Knopf.
Treatment for Raynaud's disease may include preventive measures such as wearing gloves, avoiding cold, smoking cessation, avoiding trauma, and medications used to treat high blood pressure, which reduce blood vessel constriction.

Continue Learning about Vascular Disease

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.