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R.G.: Raynaud's and chilblains

I would still get the chilblains on my fingers and toes in the winter, no matter what.

Pink Lilies for RG by Sherrill Knaggs, ISN Artist I was first diagnosed with Raynaud's about fifteen years ago. I had little success with calcium channel blockers and blood thinners because I have other heart problems and these medications just caused more problems (mainly lower blood pressure). I was taken off of these medications and tried to avoid cold and wear layers of clothing. I would still get chilblains on my fingers and toes in the winter, no matter what. These are very painful.

About a year ago, I made a discovery that made a major difference for me. I had gone to Boston, Massachusetts, for a conference. I had numerous chilblains on my feet and fingers. The hotel that I was staying in had a heated pool. I thought that it would help me to take a relaxing swim. I went down to the pool. It was just barely tepid. I decided to go for a short swim anyway. Within just a few minutes of vigorous swimming all of the chilblains had disappeared.

The next day after walking outside some, I had more blisters. This time, I decided that since the pool had not been that warm the night before that I would just get in the spa. I did and nothing happened. I got in the pool and began to swim and after just a few minutes again, the chilblains were gone.

A few months later, I went to south Georgia for a meeting. I had numerous chilblains on my feet when I left. The temperature was eighty degrees when I got to Valdosta, Georgia. I was tired that night so I decided to be lazy and get in the spa instead of swimming. Even though the temperature was eighty degrees, the spa did nothing to relieve my symptoms. I got in the pool and again after a short swim, the chilblains were gone.

I have been searching for information on Raynaud's and aquatic therapy for the last year and have not found any articles or clinical research studies. Has anyone else heard of any research on this topic?

I would also be interested to know if anyone else has had similar experiences.

To Contact the Author

Email:[email protected]
Story edited 03-01-06 JTD
Story posted 04-21-06 SLE

ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin
Raynaud's Stories

ISN Artist: Sherrill Knaggs (In Loving Memory)

Sherrill KnaggsSherrill Knaggs, ISN Artist, created the digital photo to illustrate the story on this page. Sherrill lived in New Zealand. Her story was featured in ISN's book, Voices of Scleroderma Volume 2.

ISN Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin

Photo of JudithJudith Thompson Devlin is the ISN Story Editor for this story. She is also lead editor of the ISN's wonderful Voices of Scleroderma book series!

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