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What Is Scleroderma and How Is It Related to Raynaud's?

About 300,000 Americans suffer from scleroderma and nearly everyone with the ailment also has Raynaud’s Disease.

According to the  Scleroderma Foundation, scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis, is a chronic connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases. The word “scleroderma” comes from two Greek words: “sclero” meaning hard, and “derma” meaning skin. Hardening of the skin is one of the most visible manifestations of the disease.

In fact, one of the first symptoms of scleroderma is experiencing the effects of Raynaud’s Disease. According to The Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center, finger color changes associated with Raynaud’s are caused by narrowing of the blood vessels. This happens due to an excess of collagen that has narrowed the blood vessels and an overreaction of the skin blood vessel to cold temperatures and emotional stress. Though, most people with Raynaud’s phenomenon will NOT develop scleroderma.

In other words, Raynaud’s Disease – also known as Raynaud’s Syndrome or Raynaud’s Phenomenon – is a circulatory problem. It can leave you with cold, throbbing fingers – even in mild weather. When an “attack” hits, the sufferer’s fingers can turn white, blue, or red. When the fingers warm up, it can cause pain. Attacks can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

But our Raynaud’s self-heating gloves can help provide comfort to sufferers. Our gloves use the combination of next-generation technology, your own body heat, and the environment. The result is a self-heating glove that warms up as you wear it without heating gel packs, batteries or wires. If you are looking for the best Raynaud’s Gloves or just looking for heated gloves to keep your hands comfortably warm when it’s cold outside, when you wear UNIQKNITS gloves, you don’t have to choose between comfort and fashion.

How Long Does an Attack Last?

People with Raynaud’s refer to the loss of blood in their fingers as an “attack.” These attacks can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

They’re usually triggered by environmental or emotional conditions. For example, holding a cold drink or overly air-conditioned buildings are two common triggers. Stress is another.

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Who Gets It?

There’s a primary and secondary form of Raynaud’s. In the primary form, it’s usually genetic and often first affects young women in their teens and early 20’s.

However, there is a secondary form of Raynaud’s that tends to affect people 35 and older. In these people, it can accompany Lupus, scleroderma and other serious illnesses. Yet, it can also be triggered by certain medications – even over-the-counter cold medications.

If you or someone you know has Raynaud’s disease, you can see your doctor for blood tests to determine if it’s primary or secondary form. Doctors haven’t discovered a cure and aren’t clear on its cause which means if you have it, certain lifestyle changes will help you manage it.

Managing Raynaud's

There’s no known cure however, you can take precautions to prevent attacks. Bundle up in cold climates. You can wear Raynaud’s gloves to handle frozen foods or in heavily air conditioned environments and try to keep your stress levels low.

We’re particularly partial to our Raynaud’s gloves.

If you live in a cold area, pre-heat your car before you go out and wear Raynaud’s gloves. Regular exercise improves circulation and helps lower stress levels.

While there’s plenty that’s not known about Raynaud’s, you can take steps to manage it. Why not take a look at our special high tech, yet fashionable self-heating gloves designed for people with circulatory problems.