Raynaurds and the summer : I have lupus and... - LUPUS UK


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Raynaurds and the summer

LouLamb profile image

I have lupus and raynaurds. I was just wondering how raynaurds is affect when in the summer. For example if i were to wear shorts would take make my feet colder because my legs are not covered. Or does raynaurds hot have anything to do with the clothes im wearing. So if i wore shorts that wouldnt affect my cold feet? or if i wore short sleeved top that wouldnt affect my hands? 

12 Replies

My husband used to work in the department that did testing to confirm/rule out Reynauds. Every year there would be a long list of young women who'd been to the doctor during the winter complaining of having cold feet and who were being sent for testing because the doctor thought it was Reynauds. The vast majority were advised to dress more suitably for the temperatures - they would turn up on a frosty morning with ballet flats and a short skirt! 

Reynauds is a response to a "cold challenge" and that is relative - I reacted just walking down the chiller aisle in the supermarket for example, even in the middle of summer! It is possible to buy heated gloves and shoes for people with really severe symptoms so obviously keeping warm will help avoid the problem. One lady I heard of actually moved to the south of England from Scotland so she had fewer attacks. Another moved to Spain so she could wear skirts - in the UK she needed to wear trousers all the time.

The NHS page 


tells you to keep your whole body warm. Avoiding sudden changes of temperature is also helpful and obviously wearing long sleeves or trousers helps do that but shorts/short sleeves isn't keeping you warm in the same way.

But it comes down to what the weather that day is like and you - if it is a warm day and there is no wind you might manage to get away with shorts and a t-shirt,  if it is chilly or windy that is a different matter altogether. So there is no single answer - you might be able to wear shorts when someone else can't. I never find it is warm enough to wear shorts in the UK north of London - ever, anyway! 

I have Raynauds. I like be being able to lose a few layers in the summer. (Rarely here though!) it's a bit of a joke between me and my friends - note the date in the diary, Sharon was warm today! If I'm on the continent, I wear my shorts and flipflops. I love feeling the heat on my skin! What I need to watch is how I react when I go from the warm outside to air conditioned interiors. I hate going into supermarkets and the freezer section can be excruciating if I'm not prepared. Also drinks with ice in them can be a problem. I find changes in air temperatures will trigger an attack. Also when travelling by plane I take extra layers with me. I take a lower dose of a calcium channel blocker than in the winter but never stop them completely. 

I have severe Raunauds and take 4 x 10mg of Nifedipine daily all year round - it is a great help.  When weather conditions are right I can wear shorts, flip flops etc. There are three situations which make my fingers very blue, extreme air conditioning in shops or cold areas in supermarkets, making up fresh salads and, (sorry to mention this) sitting on the loo first thing in the morning!


i have severe Raynauds and take 80mg nifedipine in the winter and take less in the summer (usually 20mg). I always wear trousers or dresses with thick tights and even in the summer make sure i have extra layers to put on. I would say try shorts, however make sure you have warmer clothes with you just in case.

It's a funny thing, I feel too hot for most of the time, I notice that I always wear less clothes than anyone else, but if I go the a supermarket and walk down the chiller section I suffer for hours afterwards.

If we stay up late watching a film after the central heating clicks off, there is nothing on earth that can warm my feet up when I get to bed, and to be clear we sleep in a heated water bed!

If I was advised just to wear more clothes, I would be uncomfortable for most of the day rather than just at these times.

I try to just keep my hands and feet warm,  spare mittens in the car,  (gloves are useless)

Try to stick to wearing thin thermal socks and keep fluffy socks handy in the evenings.

I wouldn't rush out and buy a wardrobe of shorts.  I live in Canada and have raynauds.  I'm cold all the time and even going to the supermarket makes my hands go white then blue when circulation comes back.  I use Prolotex gloves for when they're really bad - they're infrared gloves and they work.  Even in the summer here and it gets hot, I rarely have the air conditioning on.  It began with my fingers then my hands and feet and now I'm cold all the time.  Because you can't see this disease people don't understand it and think you're crazy, but they have no idea.

Surely it depends on if you feel cold in shorts.  I know mine is worse when I feel cold and I wear shorts in the summer and don't suffer unless feeling cold when I put trousers back on; I would have thought that it is good to get the vit. D providing you don't burn and are not skin-reactive or intolerant of the sun.

in reply to Cann

Vitamin D is so important but unfortunately with some of us you remove the main source of vitamin D when we have to protect ourselves from the sun. I discovered I was deficient in vitamin D and was out on a course of vitamin D tablets. What a difference. My aches, pains, fatigue, brain fog, mood, everything has improved dramatically. I can't really risk sun exposure. After about five minutes I already have the redness in my skin. I came home from the south of England this year with a nasty flare. I was so pleased at not being rained on I did everything outside - lunch, dinner, punting, walking. I suffered for it after. I thought I was reasonably well protected - long sleeved shirts, jeans etc. Lesson learnt. 

Cann profile image
Cann in reply to

Yes, we do have to be careful to expose our skin in moderation.  If I eat outside, I then come in for a while before going out again.  My body seems to tell me now when I need to come in or go outside.  I find being outside helps so much with the pain especially when moving - I also think it is because my body is under stress from EMR in confined spaces like indoors.  I go out in lots of short bursts - not able to take Vit. D supplements or any supplements for that matter, but do my best to eat healthily.

I only have trouble in the summer when I'm in air condoning. At work I wear a heavy sweater and have a little heater under my desk to keep me warm. When I work in the hospital I wear a long sleeve shirt under my uniform. But outside I'm usually fine but always take a sweater with me.

I think it depends on you and the day. I've had summer days where I've been fine in dresses/shorts and sandals and other days I haven't and had to put on a jumper.

Paul_Howard profile image

Hi LouLamb,

Raynaud's attacks are generally triggered by changes in temperature (even a slight change in temperature can cause an attack), stress and anxiety. For more information you can look at the Raynaud's & Scleroderma Association website at raynauds.org.uk/index.php they also have their own community here on HealthUnlocked at healthunlocked.com/sruk 

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