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Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK (SRUK)
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Ice cold feet-Advice about socks please

Hi, Community.

I have Lupus, raynaud's and erythromelalgia. From about October, my feet are either feezing cold from the Raynaud's (which causes pinful chilblains) or burning hot, swollen, red and painfully tingly from the EM. It is a real juggling act managing these extremes.

I just did a search on here for "Socks" and found some really interesting posts and answers from about 2 years ago. I wonder whether anyone has any updates on socks?

My podiatrist recommended wearing two thinner pairs of socks rather than one thick pair but someone made the point on here that if your feet are stone cold when you put socks on, they will not warm up, however clever the sock material. Leaving that aside, has anybody found benefit from a silk or silver liner inside a wool mix sock?

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I havent tried silk or silver liners personally but the more wool a sock has the warmer it is.

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Thanks for your reply: it tallies with my own feeling that wool is the best.

BTW, I've just spotted a typo in my post. I put "pinful" where I meant to write painful. However, it's interesting that one of the sensations of EM is actually like the worst pins & needless imaginable!

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It seems that if you buy online there are so many socks that claim to be wool when they often only contain a small percentage. So buyer beware.

I don't know how this would react with your EM but an old fashioned remedy of a mustard footpath has worked for me I the past to warm cold feet. I have used Colmans mustard powder in a bowl not used for anything else. It's not for everybody but I suppose it depends how cold your feet are.

I suppose it might also work with chilli powder

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Mustard or chilli baths, 🤔. Anything would be worth a try, though. Thanks.

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no only feet otherwise I guess that would be very painful in certain areas

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😂😂😂

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I have systemic Sclerosis and severe Raynauds and have tried lost of different socks over the years but this year I am trying walking socks made from Marino wool and so far so good toasty feet. But you have to make sure your feet are warm before you put them on. All the best hope this helps. X

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Thanks, Joan59. My sister suggested Merino wool socks, too.

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Hi, do they prescribe amLODIPine BESYLATE to combat this?

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I found Amlodipine & Nifedipine both flared up the EM but thanks for your reply.

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Hi there - I have a SSc with severe ray's and so have developed an obsessive interest in socks & gloves! Fortunately before i got ill i was very outdoorsy & an active winter climber & racing cyclist so already had a good knowledge of kit.

layering can be helpful but the key is to get the feet warm before insulating them - if you insulate ice it stops it thawing...same goes for feet & hands.

i've found both silver threaded & silk liners to be about equal.

for me i prefer thickness & windproofing work best as it stops the cold air reaching the skin. also for me at least cold air hitting my face triggers rays attacks in hands & feet so sometimes normal wool socks work if ive a scarf/hoodie on as it prevent the attack.

I think the thickness comforts me psychologically too as sometimes i can get anxious thinking about going out if its very cold.

I find specialist sports & outdoor retailers great (on sale obviously) most have free returns policies & good special offers. some dont - like I find these socks great ( i wear them walking / cycling in autumn cant cycle once temp goes below about 15 degrees due to windchll) but this brand are very high end so rarely discount rapha.cc/gb/en/shop/deep-wi... very thick, knee length and super, super warm.

they are very cosy in bed too!

look for winter cycling or mountaineering kit & read reviews on forums etc

And I find that medicine really helps manage my rays but i know many dont but if you've not tried meds for it discuss it with your medical team. Adallat has literally transformed my life in bad weather

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Wow! That's such a helpful & detailed answer, thanks amd21. I will talk to the doctors about different meds ( I'm on Losartan) and will check out the Rapha website.

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Losartan (an ARB) isn't considered a good 1st line medicine for raynauds in SSc - although its very good for other uses - CCB's (nifedipine/amlodipine) are best for ray's but they aren't that great at managing hypertension so will need a discussion of pros/cons of each option

Most recent article on ray's below hope it helps

"For mild Raynaud's phenomenon (RP), 79% of experts agreed (treatments were CCBs, then adding PDE5 inhibitors, then ARBs or switching to another CCB, respectively; after the third line of treatment, mild RP was deemed severe). For severe RP, the first- through fourth-line treatments were CCBs, then adding PDE5 inhibitors or prostanoids, then adding PDE5 inhibitors (if not added as second-line treatment) or prostanoids (if not added as second-line treatment), then switching to another CCB, respectively."

reference

Fernández-Codina A1, Walker KM2, Pope JE3; Scleroderma Algorithm Group.

Treatment Algorithms for Systemic Sclerosis According to Experts.

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018 Nov;70(11):1820-1828

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Thanks, amd21, this is very interesting.

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Don't bother with anything that isn't wool, or else a wool mix where the non wool constitutes no more than 15%. If you can get hold of alpaca that's the lightest cosiest yarn but not cheap.

I've never tried a silk lining but I've never been able to afford silk thermals either!

If, like me, you sometimes start off needing the socks then needing to kick them off in the night because of EM, get a size larger, or at least one without too snug a cuff.

I suppose this is a good time of the year to be looking, with people starting to buy presents like bedsocks. Read the ingredients!

At night, before putting the socks on, give your feet a blast with a hairdryer.

I'm incredibly lucky that I can knit my own, but there are places like Etsy where you can buy them, I think.

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A belated thank you, LK. I'm reviewing all these brilliant responses and realised that I hadn't replied to you.

I have been buying alpaca socks for about 6 years and I love them but I'm a bit late and the company (Perilla) has sold out of my favourite colours, D'Oh! I will keep looking, though.

I wish I could knit. However, I suspect socks aren't the best things for a beginner to try...

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Something that has helped me this year in particular is that I have been keeping my neck covered. I have quite a long neck and if that gets cold my whole body chills. I have been wearing the thin decorative silk style scarfs (Not silk though) indoors. It seems to be making a difference. Although the really cold weather hasn't hit yet.

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Hi, OHL,

You inspired me: I have bought a beautiful, two-colour, continuous loop neck warmer and I love it.

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That’s a good idea. I’d forgotten I knitted a couple of sort of polo necked cowls that reach over my shoulders. I can wear then in the house, or stick them on under a jacket where they look like a jumper! The double up cowls in fashion work fine.

Currently working on a very thick Faroese shawl. These are shaped so that they don’t need tying and hang from your shoulders well. This will be really helpful if I have to answer a knock at the door or just for an extra layer that doesn’t get in the way. Mine will be long.

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I'd love to see a photo of the "sort of polo necked cowls" and of the Faroese shawls! They both sound fabulous.

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Try *HeatHolders* snoods, fabulous, and I use mine to cover my mouth as well so the air gets warmed

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I have a fabulous "snood" which I wear pretty much all the time 😊. That and my M&S thermal tops! Thanks.

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Good idea. I've just looked out my neck warmer, so I'll try that indoors. Have to say, all these suggestions have really made me think. Thanks.

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If you're worried about your feet not warming then you could possibly try the hand/foot warmers inside the socks. These might help. You can buy them in chemists or somewhere like Superdrug. Don't be afraid to ask for advice.

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Thanks, geoffc. I'd be a bit concerned that warming up my feet with the hand/foot warmers inside my socks would flare up the EM and that pain is worse than having cold feet, for a relatively short time.

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Another thing to try is bathing your feet and ankles in warm water before bedtime. Dry them off, put on socks if you wish and get into bed. This should relax you as well and help you sleep 🤗.

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That's a good idea, thanks, Geoff. And it shouldn't flare up the EM...

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I wear 12% silver socks, which I purchase online from SRUK. I've worn them for years and swear by them.

Pricey but good. 😊

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Thanks, Linda. I'll check them out.

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I have EM too and find cotton socks to be the best as they let my feet breathe. I cannot wear anything on my feet in the evening and must leave my feet uncovered in bed. Recently my feet turned to blocks of ice and it was so very painful so you have my sympathy. Why not try one pair of cotton socks next to your skin and a pair of wool socks on top, toasty but also flexible. Ax

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Thanks, Ax. Good tip and thanks for the suggestion!

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Have you heard of *HeatHolders* wonderfully fluffy extra warm socks, slippersocks, long socks, mittens, gloves, hats, snoods even fluffy warm under garments, luuuuuuuuuuuv them.

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Hi, Reglois. Thanks for this. No I haven't heard about *Heatholders*. I'll check them out.

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Not expensive either

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