Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK (SRUK)
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Long-term Nicorette use and Raynaud's?

I am new to this site and live in the States. I am a former smoker and switched to Nicorette (nicotine replacement gum) which I used for 6 years. I got addicted to the gum and used it often. I am not here to judge any smokers since I also smoked. I am just wondering what the relationship is between Raynaud's and nicotine use. I think there has to be a connection. I ended up with a serious staph infection 3 months ago from my foot ulcers becoming infected. The States does not approve Illoprost for Raynaud's but I found a fantastic Rheumatologist who made sure I got the Illoprost infusion while I was hospitalized with the staph infection. That infusion has made all the difference. I've made it through the remainder of the winter without ulcers on my feet/hands. I also gave up Nicorette and continue to hope that will also prevent any more sores. Anyone have any experience with this? Thanks.

7 Replies

I have been using the gum (nicorette or habitrol) for over a year now since I have quit smoking. I have CREST Syndrome with ulcerated fingers and all five of my doctors give me the green light on the gum as quitting smoking was their main concern. I can tell the difference in my fingers that the nicotine in the gum is not doing nearly as much damage if any at all compared to the cigarettes. If I notice any side effects from the gum I will let you know as I hope to quit the gum myself someday but for now it keeps me off of the cigs.


I have raynauds/ sclerederma and crest. I hv now been a none smoker for just over 7 yrs, I managed eventually to quit with niquitinel patches, I was told by gp and rhematologist that I must pack in as was making my health worse.. By smoking narrows the veins and arteries, therefore restricting blood to extremities like finger tips therefore making my raynauds worse, I was also very skinny another factor to narrow veins, I am now 3 stones heavier and with treatment of nipedine keeping the raynauds under control. I'm not sure if nicotine gum would cause this narrowing, so probs best to ask your rheumotologist...just thought ide mention my experience... Well done on the quitting. .


I have Raynaud's and I believe smoking makes it worse but doesn't cause it. I am struggling to give up smoking. The gum burns my mouth and so do the tablets that you put under your tongue. I use patches, but I don't find it helps me. I think my addiction is more psychological than physical. I am so determined to do it one minute and then the next I find myself buying cigarettes again! I know what it's doing to me! I will just have to keep trying until I have success I guess! Have any of you read about Vasculitis? Very interesting as far as Raynaud's goes. Just Google it. The more I read that scares me the better as it will hopefully get me to the point where I quit! I take Nifidipine as well, but not too often as it lowers my blood pressure. I have many other health problems to deal with as well. Keep on keeping on! Chin up everyone!


Hi - this is from a site about facelifts, which of course isn't as far from your lungs as your feet and hands but it makes you think! This is one of the surgeon's responses to a patient question:

"Nicotine itself is a vasoconstrictor. When vasoconstriction takes place, the following things will happen:

1) Surface area inside the blood vessels decreases

2) Less blood will be able to flow to a given area.

3) Blood pressure will increase

4) Deprivation of valuable nutrients will take place due to the lack of blood flow

Blood has vital nutrients that are important to promote the healing process, and if not enough blood is flowing to a specific area, healing is compromised.

Some imitation cigarettes contain nicotine, and will slow the bloodflow. I am cautious, and have my patients stop smoking 3 months before a facelift. Others may only make a patient stop for 3 weeks. Thanks and I hope this helps! Jonathan Kulbersh, MD

Web reference: carolinafacialplasticsurger..."

If you're interested in reading other surgeons' replies the site it

I sympathise with you Nettie545, my GP advised me to quit smoking because of Raynauds years ago but it wasn't until I wanted to save money so I could get a place of my own and keep my car that I did get to grips with it. I had aural acupuncture and I was amazed that it worked as I didn't really expect it to: however, I think that goal helped me too. Am pleased to say I've been stopped 22 years now - though it was several years before I actually stopped enjoying inhaling the smoke from someone else's cigarette!! I also used to tell myself that I needn't stop forever, I would start again when I was 50, then it became when I was 60, then 70 etc. However that's all passed now and I know I'll never smoke again - and that's not because of my Raynaud's and scleroderma, it's because I hate the smell of it now.

Good luck with quitting!



I pray for each one of you that miracles will be yours and you will loose the desire for nicotine. After almost 23 years of smoking, I ran out of cigarettes on the night of 09/15/91 and never bought or smoked another pack. I had been praying for three years and getting really tired of smoking and the hassles that went along with it. I tried the gum a couple of times and couldn't stand it, then during that time, the patch was still new and costly like the gum. I prayed and mustered up determination. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought at the time that prayer, faith and really strong will would get me through - but it did. The symptoms of CREST were starting a little then and I was diagnosed years later with Raynauds and Scleroderma. I'm glad that I gave up the smoking habit when I did. I care about each of you, I hear your desires to quit, and believe me - you will be in my concerned thoughts and I will pray for this desire of your heart to quit. Cheers to Your Goal.


I have read all posts here having just come back from the surgery with antibiotics for a chest infection. I have had a severe cold for eight days, but I do smoke and loathe myself for doing so. I have CREST with raynauds, and I know full well what smoking is doing to me. I have tried the gum, which stained my teeth a hideous orange. I tried patches which did help me cut down, but are more expensive to buy than cigarettes. I persevered, but as soon as I came off patches, I began to smoke again immediately. It seems it is the nicotine i crave and it is not really the habit. I enquired about the anti-smoking drug Champix. I read that 40% of smokers quit on this drug. It can cause severe depression though, and as I live alone with no relatives close by to divert me from my thoughts or give me encouragement, I know I am still going to find it really tough. My friend who was a chain-smoker managed to give up and I am in awe of her as I know she was very dependant on cigs. I thought I was tough and my friends tell me what a strong person I am. I have been through the mill in recent years to an alarming degree. But I am sorted now, and still can't give up. Has anybody here tried Champix? If so, let me know your experience please. I'd be grateful to know.

Bless all who have succeeded in giving up the weed . It is inspiring to know it can be done. Just, it would seem anyway, not by me! What a failure i am.!


I am a smoker and any product containing nicotine is terrible for raynauds. Nicotine causes vessels to constrict. I'm trying to quit mysels and I hope all of you who smoke will also try for your own health. If not don't feel you arebeing judged. We all have to do things in our own time. Love andblessings to u all.


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