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I've wondered about this for a long time, and hopefully someone here has a reasonable answer. I'm a cell and molecular biologist, and much of my time at the bench is spent wearing (usually nitrile) gloves. I've noticed that if I wear them for longer than 10 or 15 minutes they start accumulating sweat. However, my hands aren't clammy or damp when I'm not wearing gloves, so my question is whether my hands are always sweating at approximately the same rate, and the impermeable barrier of the gloves just traps the moisture, or does the enclosed environment inside the gloves promote sweating? My hands don't seem particularly hot when I have the gloves on, and the gloves themselves are pretty thin, although they do have some insulating properties, as I can handle items taken from a -80°C more easily gloved than bare-handed. What causes this diaphoresis?
Hand sweating has been fairly well-studied, both because sweating from the hands is one of the main mechanisms of heat dissipation at higher temperatures and because there is a significant effect on palmar sweating by the autonomic nervous system (the main cause of hyperhydrosis of the palms).
Disregarding autonomic effects (stress response), the single most important determinant of hand and foot blood flow is the thermal status of the body core. Heat dissipation is more marked in the hands than feet, and remains so as temperature increases.
Studies have been done of palmar sweating in extremes of temperatures, palmar sweating changes with aging (decreases), palmar sweating in disease, etc. But what has not been studied is the effect of localized heat on sweating of the palms, which would be of interest to you if sweating was a result of the insulating capacity of the gloves.
What is known about palmar sweating is that it is an ongoing and important process in both genders, at all temperatures, and at all ages. The most reasonable assumption then, given the limits of the literature, is that your hands sweat continuously and steadily at a given temperature, and it is highly likely that you are noticing it when wearing gloves only because the vapor barrier caused by the gloves prohibits evaporation.
The roles of hands and feet in temperature regulation in hot and cold environments
OBSERVATIONS ON THE ACTIVITY OF SWEAT GLANDS WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE INFLUENCE OF AGEING
Why do I get sweaty palms?
The Outdoor Research Flurry Sensor Glove (2.5 oz / 71 g, $40) is the warmest glove I’ve found that I can use effectively with a smartphone. It’s now a core component of my cold-weather and winter backpacking gear list.
Outdoor Research Flurry Sensor Gloves (photo: Outdoor Research).
The unique feature of the OR Flurry Sensor gloves is their warm fabric construction. The gloves are made with a two-layer fabric branded as Alpin-Wool Plus 2L. The outer layer is a woven blend of wool and nylon, which provides durability and weather-resistance due to the hydrophobicity of those fibers. The inner layer is a thin nylon fleece with a soft polyester inside surface, which provides next-to-skin comfort.
Want to stop sweating?
Sweating (and we don’t just mean an attractively flushed face with a slight sheen) is still taboo, especially if you’re a woman. Which is a shame, given that it’s a genuine scientific marvel – our body’s natural air-conditioning system, in fact. When we get really hot, an alert goes to our eccrine glands, all over our bodies, and our apocrine glands, primarily underarms, breasts, face, scalp and groin, and this leads to perspiration, which is designed to stop us overheating. But despite the impressive science, it can also cause real embarrassment and discomfort – especially if it goes into overdrive for some reason. So, armed with expert support, we set out to help three readers sort their very own ‘sweatmares’.
The anxiety sweater
Olivia Paris Rose, 31, business director: ‘I barely sweat at all, unless I have a confrontation with someone. I feel nervous and tense, and my face gets hot and flushed. The more I become aware of it, the quicker it shows. Sweat appears on my hairline and runs down my back.’
Psychologist Emma Kenny says: ‘Sweat can be a reaction to stressors that trigger your “fight or flight” response. While regular sweat is comprised of water and salt, “stress sweat” is released by a different gland and is made up of fatty acids and proteins,so it doesn’t evaporate as quickly, and can develop an odour when it combines with skin bacteria.’
• ‘“Box breathing” will help ensure that whenever you face a challenging situation, you’ll feel able to reduce your nerves,’ says Emma. It involves expelling all the air from your lungs and keeping them empty for a count of four. You then inhale through your nose for four, hold for four, and exhale smoothly for four. That is one ‘circuit’. Repeat for at least five minutes every day and whenever you’re in a stressful situation. Research has found that deep, yogic breathing like this helps balance the autonomic nervous system, regulating bodily functions such as temperature.
• Use an antibacterial soap when you shower or bathe to reduce the bacteria on your skin, which can help prevent the occurrence of odour.
• Avoid foods that can increase body odour – garlic, onions, cumin and curry, while vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, produce sulphur-like compounds when they break down, which can react with sweat. If you have something coming up that you know will bring on an anxious outbreak, apply antiperspirant the night before. You perspire less when you sleep, so it allows the product to work to plug sweat glands. This effect can last 24 hours, even after a morning shower.
The hyperhidrosis sufferer
Tanya Bernard, 52, social worker:‘I’ve always had excess sweating in my hands and feet. My main memory of my teenage years is chatting on the phone with sweat dripping down my wrists. My feet were the same – I learnt to always carry a spare pair of socks. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 19 and although it’s improved since I went through the menopause, I still get clammy hands, which I clean and moisturise regularly, and I keep cotton gloves, sanitiser and hand cream in my bag.’
Dr Sarah Brewer, GP and medical director of Healthspan, explains: ‘Tanya has hyperhidrosis, the medical term for excessive sweating. It can affect the whole body or certain areas. It’s often hereditary, or can be caused by certain medical conditions [such as an overactive thyroid and low blood sugar].’
• Look for these ingredients in an antiperspirant – aluminium chloride or aluminium chloride hexahydrate, if your usual one isn’t strong enough. Driclor Antiperspirant Roll On Applicator contains them. Apply at night to clean, dry skin – it can even be used on your palms. Once the effect builds up, you only need to use the product every few days.
• Wear non-synthetic shoes or socks made from natural fibres. Hyperhidrosis UK advises looking out for socks that are impregnated with silver or copper to help reduce odour. Bamboo or charcoal insoles, such as Odor-Eaters Super Tuff Insoles, help wick away moisture and have antibacterial effects. Wearing different shoes on alternate days – allowing time for them to dry out – can also help, as well as choosing footwear made of leather.
• ‘Have a bath or shower twice daily to prevent the build-up of bacteria that gives sweat its odour,’ advises Dr Brewer. ‘And dry your feet thoroughly, as dampness can promote bacterial growth, too.’ To stop your skin drying out from so much bathing, try an emollient, such as Oilatum Fragrance-Free Shower Gel.
• ‘Avoid spicy foods, as they contain capsaicin, which tricks your brain into thinking that your body temperature is increasing, triggering sweat. Steer clear of alcohol, too, as it can speed up your heart rate and dilate blood vessels, which fools your body into thinking it needs to cool down via sweating,’ warns Dr Brewer.
The hormonal sweater
Henrietta Oxlade, 53, financial advisor: ‘I started to get night sweats at 49, about three years before my actual menopause, which got progressively worse. I wake up about once an hour drenched in sweat, and hot and panicky. It’s like a tsunami that takes over my whole body!’
GP, menopause specialist and author ofThe M Word: Everything You Need To Know About The Menopause Dr Philippa Kaye says: ‘Sweats and hot flushes happen when oestrogen and progesterone levels decrease [in perimenopause and menopause]. This affects many bodily functions, including regulating temperature levels in the brain.’
• Relax before bedtime. Early-stage research shows that mindfulness meditation, yoga, and tai chi may help improve menopausal symptoms and ease sweating.
• Sip cold water if you wake up at night and spritz yourself with cooling water, such as Promensil Cooling Spray. As well as investing in sweat-wicking nightwear and special quick-drying sheets, try a JML Chillmax Pillow, which contains a special gel to help cool you down.
• Get to grips with strength training. A 2019 Swedish study found that strenuous resistance training, two to three times a week, can eliminate nearly half of hot flushes and night sweats.
• Ask your GP about HRT (hormone replacement therapy) if your symptoms feel unmanageable, suggests Dr Kaye. ‘There are lots of options available, including tablets, skin patches, gels and implants. Your GP may refer you to a menopause specialist if your symptoms don’t improve or if you’re unable to take HRT.’
Other simple sweat solutions
• Wear natural fibres (cotton, linen, silk) and white or patterned clothes to disguise sweat patches, and try absorbent clothing-protection pads for the underarms.
• Eat smaller meals if the weather is warm – food intake creates heat, so overeating can cause perspiration and flushing (make ours a salad!).
• Soak your feet in cool water for instant relief.
• Keep your face and body moisturisers in the fridge. And before putting on your clothes, stick them in a plastic bag and pop them in the freezer for a few minutes. Icy-cool bliss!
Red hands and feet
As I said for my last 4 or 5 posts. Doctors Please, please research Erythromelalgia. I know how all of you feel. Took 12 years to be diagnosed.It is a rare disease which is being researched with very little money at yale. The EM group at yahoo gave and raised if I'm saying this right, 25,000.00. for 20 researchers and the man from China which found the mutated gene He will be there for 2 years.. Please do your homework,read, read, read, then print it out and take it to your doctors.
Some one has to pick this information up and pass it along.. I wish I could have duplicated my firsts post. I have typed this so much I can't even make much sense anymore.HOpe this helps.
I am a 31 year old female and I have been suffering with red hands and feet for about 11 years now, and it has only gotten worse. I sometimes have numbness in my toes, and in my thumbs when it's cold. My hands and feet are usually cold, but can get hot as well. My hands are also usually really dry, and I think maybe it's because I wash them a lot and don't moisturize enough. I used to try really hard to take care of my hands, but nothing seemed to help much, so I have almost given up. It is really embarrasing, as people are always asking me what's wrong with my hands and feet. I have had blood tests done at the doctor's, and they all say it's got something to do with my circulation. At first they said it may be Raynauds, but the blood tests ruled that out. I've read a lot about this on the internet, and one thing that I found was that the redness may be a symptom of Candida, and can be alleviated by changing one's diet. Candida is basically yeast, and is formed when the body is overly acidic. The body needs to be a more alkaline pH. So, apparently eating less sugar, caffiene, and carbohydrates should help. So, do a google search for 'red hands and feet', and check out all the info that comes up. Good luck in your search for a cure.
The girl with red hands
I just found this awesome information about the Anti-Candida Diet. I hope this helps:
The ANTI-CANDIDA DIET
Diet is extremely important when dealing with Candida. A number of dietary factors appear to promote the growth of Candida. The most important factors are a high intake of sugar (table sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup, corn syrup, candy, soft drinks, fruit (except cranberries and lemons) , milk and other dietary products, foods containing yeast such as flour products.
Sugar is the chief food source for Candida Albicans. It is well accepted that restriction of sugar intake is an absolute necessity in the treatment of chronic candidiasis. Limitation of refined carbohydrates is also a good idea (bread, pasta, cereal, foods made with flour) since they can also feed yeast.
NO MILK AND DAIRY PRODUCTS:
There are several reasons to restrict or eliminate the intake of milk.
The high lactose content promotes the overgrowth of Candida
Milk is one the most frequent food allergens
Milk may contain trace levels of antibiotics which can further disrupt the GI bacterial flora and promote Candida Overgrowth.
NO MOLD AND YEAST- CONTAINING FOOD:
Patients with chronic candidiasis should avoid foods with a high content of yeast or mold, including alcoholic beverages, cheeses, dried fruits and peanuts.
Check for food allergies and Sensitivities:
Check for food allergies or food sensitivities since they are very common in patients with yeast syndrome. The symptoms of a food sensitivity may be so subtle that you do not know you have it. We recommend you have an IgG food allergy test done from ImmunoLabs and eliminate any food which shows up positive for 3-6 months.
Supplementation with Probiotics
Even when you are not actively dealing with Candida overgrowth, it is important to regularly supplement your diet with the "friendly" bacteria, or probiotics such as lactobacillus and bifidus for protection. You can ingest these through your diet by eating high quality yogurt and Kefir products which state the presence of "live cultures" on their labels. High quality brands include Stoneyfield Farms, Brown Cow, Tillamook, Cabot and others (just be careful to always check sugar content—some products contain a lot of sugar or corn syrup). Try combining plain yogurt with fresh berries, apples or applesauce for a more "naturally" sweetened snack.
Another easy way to regularly replenish the protective supply in your intestines is to supplement with a high quality brand, such as HLC Maintenance by Pharmax. It is particularly useful to pay attention to replenishing probiotics during and immediately after antibiotic regimens, episodes of diarrhea, and in preparation for travel abroad. Store your probiotic supplement in the refrigerator to keep live cultures fresh.
VeloToze Waterproof Gloves & Shoe Covers Reviewed!
As the Scandanavian maxim says: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” So the veloToze waterproof cycling gloves and overshoes are a godsend in cold and wet weather, and now’s the perfect time to try ’em out.
As a skinny-ish guy of tropical ethnic heritage (Filipino), I don’t weather the cold as well as my hardier, Nordic heritage riding buddies. Over the course of the last several riding seasons, I’ve managed to acquire various cold weather-specific kit – for example, Gore Windstopper Oxygen Classics – that has made winter riding tolerable, if not actually enjoyable.
The result being that I’m riding that fun and silly winter riding competition Freezing Saddles for the third year. But keeping my hands and fingers warm (enough) – or as I like to say, at least not numb freezing cold – is still a bit of a challenge. There is a tradeoff between insulation and bulk, with more insulation usually coming at the expense of more bulk. And more bulk means less feel and control on the handlebars. While many hard core Freezing Saddles’ers (who will ride in even Arctic-like conditions that I’m not man enough to weather) use bar mitts to keep their hands warm, I readily admit to being a roadie snob and as Meatloaf said, “I won’t do that.”
So I was more than happy when my fellow PEZ contributor Charles Manantan (who lives in Arizona where “cold” means “warm” by East Coast winter standards) suggested that I’d be the perfect guinea pig for the veloToze Waterproof Cycling Gloves.
veloToze Waterproof Cycling Gloves – $48
veloToze is a Sonoma, CA, aka wine country, based company and has been around since 2014, when they introduced their Latex shoe covers (a little more about them later). PEZ introduced readers to veloToze at Sea Otter 2016.
Their Waterproof Cycling Gloves are their foray into gloves intended to keep your hands and fingers warm and dry. veloToze claims that they will “keep your hands warm on cold morning or winter rides (-5C/20F to 15C/60F).” Waterproofness is the result of the gloves being made with a neoprene material what is both windproof and waterproof. The seams are blind stitched and sealed both for comfort and to keep them waterproof. And the cuffs are on the long-ish side. The gloves themselves are basic black and the fairly prominent veloToze logo is reflective.
If not for the logo, you might mistake these for a pair of scuba gloves, which is exactly how they fit – which is to say pretty much skin tight. The neoprene is 2.5mm thick. Interestingly, this scuba equipment website rates such thickness as appropriate for diving in water temperatures between 16C and 24C (60F to 75F) – so for much warmer temps than what veloToze rate the gloves for riding. But we’re not scuba diving.
Scuba or cycling?
The texture of the neoprene material is different on the outside than inside. The outside feels a little “sticky,” which aids with grip on the handlebars. The inside (which has more of a sheen finish) is more “slippery,” which helps getting the gloves on and off.
Outside (top) and inside (bottom) are different textures and shades
Getting veloToze gloves on is relatively straightforward and pretty much like putting on any other winter glove. Just slip your hands into them. veloToze recommends folding the glove over at the wrist to put it on, but I found I could get my hand in without having to do so – YMMV. However, I did find that folding the cuff of the glove up helped with getting them off.
Folding the cuff can help with getting the glove on and off
Because of the extended cuff, the inevitable question is whether you should wear the cuff over or under long sleeves if you’re wearing a long sleeve jersey or jacket. veloToze’s pro tip is: “Pull rain coat jacket sleeve over top of glove to ensure no water can enter the glove, especially in heavy rain.” So under your sleeve because you want the glove to seal against your skin to keep water out. That said, if you’re riding in dry weather with a long sleeve jersey but without a jacket, there’s no reason that you couldn’t ride with the gloves over our sleeves, which is what I do just because it’s less hassle.
For best results, wear the glove against the skin and underneath jersey or jacket sleeves
So do the veloToze Waterproof Cycling Gloves live up to their billing?
I can attest that they’re definitely very good cold weather riding gloves. Despite not being a traditional “insulating” glove, they’ve been able to keep my hands and fingers reasonably warm enough down into the 30s (fahrenheit). The more I ride in the cold, the more I’ve come to find that windproofness seems to matter more to me than insulation per se and the veloToze gloves are very windproof. If I was riding in extreme cold with below freezing temps (which isn’t something I would ordinarily chose to do), I would probably want a combination of both thermal insulation and windproofness. But for the typical winter riding I do, the veloToze gloves – at least so far – have been up to the task.
That’s not to say that they’re perfect. The “downside” of windproofness of the neoprene material is that they don’t really breathe a lot (if at all). So the inside of the glove might get a little clammy if your hands sweat a lot. Personally, this really wasn’t an issue for me. And where you’re more likely to feel it is after taking the gloves off at a coffee stop and putting them back on.
The one thing I learned is that you need to turn the gloves inside out after riding so that the interior will dry out. I didn’t do that after my first ride and, while not wet, the gloves felt ever so slightly damp the second time around. Getting the gloves turned completely inside out is a minor PITA. It’s easy enough to get the glove itself inside out, but you have to fiddle a bit and individually push the thumb and fingers to get them turned inside out. This takes a little extra time and effort due to the “stickiness” of the neoprene material on the outside of the glove (which is the inside when you have it turned inside out). I also learned that turning the cuff of the glove up makes it easier to get to the fingers to turn them inside out.
So what about waterproofness?
In my old age, I avoid doing #9 rides intentionally so haven’t ridden the veloToze Waterproof Cycling Gloves in the rain. I have, however, ridden with them after the rain when the roads are still wet enough to get road splash and had no issues with my hands getting wet.
But just for grins, I did my own waterproof test in the kitchen sink. I’ll let the video below speak for itself. BTW, that’s a Hansgrohe faucet – as in Bora-Hansgrohe – so my kitchen is Euro pro cycling friendly.
veloToze Tall Shoe Covers – $18
This is the original veloToze product. Unlike most other shoe covers that are made with a fabric-like material with a zipper or velcro closure, the veloToze shoe cover is made with stretchy latex (think surgical gloves) that is one piece and slips on over your shoe. But you don’t put them on the same way as regular shoe covers. Instead:
2: Pull shoe cover/overshoe on over sock
3: Put foot through large cleat hole, and pull shoe cover up around ankle
5: Pull shoe cover down over heel of shoe FIRST, then toe
6: Adjust around ankle, cleats and heel pad. Ensure no part of shoe covers/overshoe are over cleats or heel pad.
Per veloToze, “Warning: Shoe cover may tear if you do not FIRST put on shoe cover, then shoe.” Yes, it’s a little more “involved” but also “easy.” If a picture is worth a thousand words, the video is a much better explanation.
The nature of the latex material is such that you will want to take your time and be a little careful. The result is an aero, Euro pro shoe tight fit. Reinforcing the pro aspect is the fact that veloToze is the shoe cover used by Team Bora-hansgrohe.
Another veloToze pro tip: “Pull top of shoe cover over sock or under leg warmers. The top of the shoe cover needs to be against your skin or water may enter the shoe cover.” Of course, if you’re riding in cold but dry weather, this isn’t necessarily an absolute must.
Wind and waterproof plus aero
To take the shoe covers off, simply reverse the process. Again, don’t rush and be careful so as to not catch the material on anything that might cut or rip it.
veloToze claims their shoe covers will “keep your feet warm even on cold morning or winter rides (5C/40F to 16C/60F).” I found them to work reasonably well down to about 40F by keeping the windchill off. My feet weren’t warm, but they weren’t bone chilling cold either. In other words, about on par with most other (non-insulated) shoe covers I’ve tried. I’ve also “cheated” and used toe warmers to help keep my feet warm if the shoe covers themselves aren’t enough, e.g., when the temp dips below 40F. But if it’s really frigid, I need shoe covers that are both thermal insulating and windproof (plus toe warmers) to keep my toes and feet from feeling like they’re in a meat locker.
Except for the cleat and heel bumper, the entire bottom of the shoe is covered – but you’ll still want to tape over any shoe vents on the underside to prevent water and cold air entering from the bottom of the shoe
As with the gloves, I haven’t ridden with the shoe covers in the rain – just wet roads and they warded off road splash. But here’s another kitchen sink video for your enlightenment and entertainment.
Like neoprene, latex doesn’t really breathe so you might experience the “clammy effect” with the veloToze shoe covers if your feet sweat a lot. It wasn’t something I experienced, but YMMV.
Another thing about the veloToze shoe covers being made with latex is that you should expect them to have a shorter shelf life than more traditional waterproof/windproof fabric used by other manufacturers. For example, a general rule of thumb is three years for disposable latex surgical gloves. That’s not to say that the veloToze shoe covers will only last you three years, but you probably shouldn’t expect them to last you forever. But at $18 a pair, you can buy two or three pairs for the price of most other cold weather shoe covers.
Finally, there’s a fun quotient to the veloToze shoe covers. If you’re a traditionalist, they come in basic black. But if you want to add some color to your life, they are available in eight other colors: hi-viz yellow, hi-viz green, hi-viz orange, red, white, blue, purple, and pink.
Add a little color to your life
veloToze Cycling Socks – $18 and $20
veloToze was also kind enough to send a couple pair of socks to try out. One pair (black) are a Merino wool blend and the other pair (white) are a Coolmax blend. Both Merino wool and Coolmax have wicking properties to keep your feet dry, but the Coolmax socks are probably better suited to warmer weather while the Merino wool socks are probably warmer in colder weather. I wore both on cold weather rides and I’m not sure my feet could really tell the difference. I’m going to guess that the same will be true when the weather is warmer. So in that respect: socks is socks.
Black Merino wool
The veloToze socks are 6 inches high, so shouldn’t run afoul of the UCI sock height police but maybe not PEZ’s own Ed Hood.
One thing that’s different about the veloToze socks is that they are active compression (12-16mmHG – this is where Wikipedia comes in handy). You can feel that they exert a little more “pressure”than regular socks. The theory behind compression socks is that they help increase blood circulation and aid with recovery. Triathletes swear by them, but studies show they have little to no effect athletic performance. Still … #marginalgains and #sockdoping.
Waiting for Belgian Spring
The veloToze Waterproof Cycling Gloves and Tall Shoe Covers are both welcome additions to my cold weather riding wardrobe (and you can never have too many pairs of cycling socks). They basically do what they claim to do and you can’t ask for much more than that. So now I have more options at my disposal for warding off the cold on winter rides.
For me, where I think the veloToze Waterproof Cycling Gloves and Tall Shoe Covers will really shine is on Belgian Spring rides. Cold enough, but not freezing cold, to need an added layer of insulation. Damp air with maybe an occasional sprinkle or drizzle, but not pouring rain, to need to be able to stay dry. And wind – not necessarily howling wind, but enough wind to let you know that it’s colder than what the thermometer says and you need to keep the windchill off. Throw in gray skies so you don’t get the benefit of ambient heat. Classics weather. Hard men weather. The kind of weather where skinny guys like me need all the help we can get.
Not only will veloToze be truly functional in such conditions, but will also look “oh so pro.”
Real men ride pink
See the entire collection of veloToze products here.
PEZ contributor Chuck Peña is a former weekend warrior racer who now just rides for fun and coffee, but every once in a while manages to prove Fausto Coppi’s adage true: Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill. He lives in Arlington, VA with his wife (who is his favorite riding partner), his daughter (who takes great joy in beating him at golf all the time, but at least he’s still faster on a bike), and their dog (who is always there to greet him when he comes home from a ride). You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.
Reasons your hands swell when walking & tips to prevent it
My husband and I call it museum hands! The swelling you get when you walk for a while. I first experienced it while walking round the museums in London many years ago. I had no idea what it was and I could hardly get my rings off when we eventually reached the hotel that evening.
If your hands swell when walking, don’t worry you are not alone in this. Many people who exercise experience swollen hands. While the cause isn’t completely clear some think it is a result of how your body is reacting to the exercise that you are doing, lack of arm movement or an imbalance in your salt levels.
For me it seemed to be a combination of several things. My hands did calm down after a while but it can be a bit frightening when it first happens. I also find after my 40 minute walk my hands still swell up but I put that down to heat. This summer has been really hot to the point where I nearly gave up walking it was so uncomfortable. So it seems that many walkers experience swollen hands and not just in warm weather either according to some of the research I have read. To put your mind at ease I wanted to share with you some of the thinking if your hands swell when you walk. This information put my mind at ease. The thing with Googling something like swollen hands, can result in so much medical issues being raised that one can often think oh I need to rush to the ER! I read through the information below and my mind was put at ease. Of course if you are concerned with your hands it goes withou saying that you should visit your health professional. The information I have shared below is just to give you general information on what could be causing your hands to swell when you walk.
Blood flow seems to be the most suggested cause. When you start walking your hands can be either be cool or just the right temperature. As you walk, heat up and get your heart pumping the blood flow increases. Of course your hands and feet are the last to feel this rise in temperature and as a result there could be more blood flow going to these parts of your body causing your hands to swell up. Your feet could swell as well but you probably don’t notice that as much unless you are wearing tight fitting shoes. I think this could be one of the reasons my hands swell as my hands are often cool when I start on my walking journey home. This is also true if it is cold outside and I don’t have gloves on.
Lack of arm movement. I did think this was part of my problem when in London and walking round the museums. My arms weren’t moving that much. Some think that if you don’t move your arms that much then the blood flow is slower causing it to pool in your hands. I don’t often pump my arms on my walk to the train station especially if I have my bag and an umbrella to carry. In fact I don’t know my hands swelling at all when I have to carry an umbrella.
Imbalance in salts. Salts in your bloodstream are known as electrolytes. These should be kept in balance to help keep swelling at bay. If you are walking and sweat then you lose salt. This causes and imbalance and could cause the swelling to your hands. Many athletics replenish their electrolyes as they go with sports drinks. I stay away from them as there are too many calories in them! I think this is also a possibly for me. I notice when the sweat starts to run down my face that my eyes sometimes sting and I wonder if this is the salt. Again another possibility for my hands swelling.
Exercise. Your hands could be swelling when you walk simply because you are exercising. When you go for a brisk walk you are working your heart and your lungs. This can cause the blood flow to your hands to reduce and make them cooler than the rest of your body. The blood vessels in your hands then my react to this making them swell slightly. Another reason could be that your hands are cooling down as a response to the rest of the heat that is generating in your body – especially if you are sweating. Again walking is exercise so this is certainly something to consider is the cause of your hands swelling.
Steps to prevent and treat if your hands swell when walking
I have tried many things to help me treat my swollen hands when walking. Some have worked, some haven’t but I have also tried to prevent it from happening. Again with some degree of success. I’ve listed them below to give you an idea of what they are and if you want to give them a go yourself. I’d love to know how you get on if you try them. just pop a comment below.
- There is one thing that really annoys me if I am experiencing hand swelling after coming back from a walk and that’s getting my rings off! My first tip is to suggest you leave your rings at home prior to your walk. If you can’t do that then place them in your purse to keep them safe. Rings can become so tight so give this a go and see how it goes. I do this at weekends but don’t during the week as I like to wear my rings going to and from work.
- When you are walking briskly you often lose both water and salt from sweating. Sipping on an iostonic sports drink may help to reduce swelling in your hands although be careful not to drink too many calories! Oh and of course make sure you don’t exceed the recommended salt intake guidelines either. This is a recommendation I read but haven’t tried this. I often drink water after a brisk walk as I don’t want to be drinking calories!
- Pumping your arms when walking could help you. This will help keep the blood circulating to your hands and stop them swelling. I have done this at weekends and it seems to work although like I said above holding up an umbrella has also helped me.
- Keep your hands loose. Don’t clench your hands, keep them open and relaxed. Try and stretch them every now and again and wiggle your fingers. Do this every few minutes when you are walking to try and prevent your hands from swelling when walking. This is something I do on a regular basis for a number of reasons. First is the swollen hands but secondly it’s a great way to make sure your body isn’t full of stress either.
- You could try carrying a stress ball or something similar. Squeeze it every now and again. This will work your hand muscles and it will stretch them too. This will also help your grip which seems to get weak as we get older. When I’m holding an umbrella I often squeeze the handle every now and then and that seems to do the same thing, although my grip isn’t very strong.
- If you wear a FitBit or other fitness tracker, make sure it’s not too tight around your wrist. Wear it a bit loser when walking and wear it further up your arm rather than around your wrist. I hate having anything tight around my wrist and can highly recommend this one.
- Use a walking pole. You could try walking with a pole. Rotate it from one hand to the other for maximum benefit. I haven’t tried this one yet as I’m considering whether to buy a walking stick / pole myself. I really don’t think I need one at the moment for walking up hills and mountains but that may change.
- Reach for the sky. Stretch every now and again to get your arms above your head, or reach up to touch the lovely trees if you feel self conscious! I haven’t tried this one but feel I need to give it a go. Just trying to find the right place to do it could be an issue.
- Try to do your walking at a cooler part of the day. Avoid the hot mid-day sun and carry a water bottle with you to keep you cool. During the hot spell of weather I was walking home around 4pm but it was still too hot. There wasn’t much I could do about it apart from finding the shaddy side of the street which seemed to help me.
Other things to watch out for if hands swell when walking
I’ve mentioned why your hands could be swelling when you walk and have shared some of the things I have been doing and some of the things I have yet to try. What I haven’t touched on is the other reasons for your hands swelling. I’m not a doctor so if you think there are other reasons why this is happening then please visit your health professional.
If your hands stay swollen for a long while after you stop walking or if you are in pain then it’s probably best to see your doctor or health professional to get them checked over. Our hands come in to contact with so many surfaces that it’s best to get it checked just in case you haven’t picked up an infection of some sort. I had the unlucky experience of getting an insect bite while on holiday one year, it wasn’t my hand that had swollen but my big toe! It was horrible and I eventually had to get it treated. Insect bites really are awful.
Another reason for hand swelling which may be out of character for you could be a side effect of your medication. I’m sure you are aware that some come with side effects and one could be swelling. Check it out with your doctor.
One other factor that comes in to play could be the heat. It seems that heat this summer – while lovely to look at – has been a problem for a number of people. Hot and sunny weather may contribute to a rapid change in your temperature as your body tries its best to keep cool. This often comes with some heat disorders such as prickly heat. I have to admit to getting a heat rash during the summer. Another side effect of this is swelling of hands, feet and legs. Being exposed to the temperatures we have seen this summer could lead to a rapid loss of fluid which you should replenish by drinking plenty of water.
As mentioned above, try your best to walk out of the high sun and maybe leave your walking until evening when the temperature starts to drop a little. Alternatively if you have treadmill, give it a go and stay out of the heat altogether!
First Click: A wearable that's actually ready to wear
The term “wearable” is misleading in its modern, technological use. Sure, a Fitbit can be worn, but it’s still just an accessory. A non-essential something you choose to wear like headphones, or a tiara. For technology to be truly wearable it should disappear into the things we already wear.
I got a taste of that idea recently while on a snowboarding holiday in the Austrian alps. I packed two articles of heated clothing sent to me for review by a company called Gyde Supply: a $249.99 Torrid heated vest to wear under my snowboard jacket, and a pair of $279.99 S4 heated gloves. It was the latter that resulted in my epiphany, despite my doubts.
I have a drawer full of so-called wearables that I’ve purchased over the last five years or so. They’re fun for awhile. But soon the novelty fades as each smartwatch and fitness tracker fails to improve my life in any meaningful way. In fact, most did the opposite, creating additional distractions by alerting me of unimportant things and by their thirst for regular charging. Recode’s Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode lamented the sorry state of "unwearables" in the latest episode of the Too Embarrassed to Ask podcast. Wearables are a little like dating, they concluded: you learn more about what you don’t want with each failed encounter.
The Gyde S4 glove is an outdoor wearable I do want. It performed spectacularly over a week of snowboarding, keeping my hands warm and dry despite wearing the gloves for up to eight hours a day in temperatures ranging from -8 degrees Celsius (17.6 Fahrenheit) to 11 degrees Celsius (51.8 Fahrenheit ), and conditions that ranged from sun, to rain, to sleet, to snow. Gyde uses a Microwire™ heating system from Gerbing that weaves hundreds of Teflon®-coated conductive filaments into the fingers and thumb, each strand measuring just 25 percent the thickness of a human hair. The S4 glove features other impressive-sounding materials that require even more trademarks like a Cyberian Cordloc™ system, Primaloft® insulation, and AQUATEX ™ water resistance. There's even a chamois thumb that acts as a convenient goggle squeegee.
The trick I found was to turn on the rechargeable 7.4V 4R Lithium-ion battery and set the gloves to their lowest heat setting just after lunch. This would warm the gloves enough to offset the damp interior resulting from my sweat or from the snow that managed to enter the base of the gauntlet after numerous powdery wipeouts (I was usually too lazy to pull the cinch-cord tight). In this way my hands never grew cold and the battery easily lasted the day. Gyde says the battery can heat the S4 glove for up to eight hours, or about two hours when cranked to a maximum of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Extra batteries cost $49.99 each. The weight of the battery on the top of the wrist did feel a bit bulky at first but I soon got used to it. Gyde ships the S4 gloves with a Y-cable that charges two batteries at once in less than two hours.
Gyde also sells an optional bluetooth adapter that lets you control the temperature of the gloves from a smartphone app. Don’t buy it, it’s just another "smart" gimmick that ultimately adds more cost and complexity. Even though the S4 glove works surprisingly well with touchscreens given all the insulation, you’re much better off controlling the temperature via a push of the three-stage button fitted directly onto the outside of the glove. The indicator glows white, orange, or red to indicate the current temperature setting from low to high.
My only complaint is with the price, obviously. At $279.99, the Gyde S4 gloves cost twice as much as Burton’s most expensive model. I haven’t tried the Burtons, I can only tell you that my hands had never been so comfortable in 20+ years of skiing and snowboarding.
I wasn’t sold on the $249.99 Gyde Torid vest, however. Although it heated up quickly using the same type of battery as the gloves, the heat wasn’t as uniformly distributed as I would have liked. I also had to run it hotter than the gloves so it consumed more power which meant more frequent recharging. For a full day on the slopes, I preferred to just zip and unzip, or add and remove regular layers of clothing as needed. I should also note that one of the three batteries I was given for testing went wonky during my testing making it unusable. I was told this wasn’t normal but your mileage, as they say, may vary.
Still, the Gyde S4 gloves have given me a glimpse at what’s to come. A future where we’re no longer the beta testers of wearables because they’re already prêt-à-porter. Yes, the wearables of the future will simply be called "clothes."
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Where do blisters come from?
A blister is a pocket of fluid between the upper layers of skin. The most common causes are friction, freezing, burning, infection, and chemical burns. Blisters are also a symptom of some diseases.
The blister bubble is formed from the epidermis, the uppermost layer of skin. Its purpose is to protect and cushion the layers below. Blisters can be filled with serum, plasma, blood or pus depending on how and where they are formed.
This stops further damage and gives the tissue time to heal.
In this article, we will discuss what blisters are, how they are caused and the best ways to prevent and treat them.
There are many activities and ailments that can induce blistering. Below are some of the more common ways that blisters can form.
Share on Pinterest Blisters are most commonly formed due to excess friction, often caused by repetitive actions such as playing a musical instrument.
Any repetitive friction or rubbing can cause blisters.
These blisters will usually appear on the hands or feet, as these are the areas that most often encounter repetitive abrasion, whether walking, running or playing the drums.
Areas of skin with a thick horny layer, attached tightly to underlying structures (such as palms of hands and soles of feet) are more likely to generate blisters.
Blisters occur more readily if the conditions are warm, for example, inside a shoe. They also form more easily in damp conditions, compared with wet or dry environments.
Blisters can lead to more serious medical issues such as ulceration and infection, although, under normal conditions, this is rare.
The timing of blister formation helps categorize burns. Second-degree burns will blister immediately, but first-degree burns blister a couple of days after the incident.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, frostbite also produces blisters. In both cases, the blister is a defense mechanism deployed to protect lower levels of skin from temperature-related damage.
Skin can occasionally blister because of certain chemicals. This is known as contact dermatitis.
It can affect some individuals on contact with the following:
- nickel sulfate, used in electroplating
- balsam of Peru, a flavoring
- insect bites and stings
- chemical warfare agents, including mustard gas
Crushing and pinching
If a small blood vessel near the surface of the skin is ruptured, blood can leak into the gap between the layers of skin causing a blood blister to form. This is a blister filled with blood.
A number of medical conditions can cause blisters.
- Chickenpox: The rash forms small blisters that eventually scab over.
- Herpes: The cold sores produced by the herpes simplex virus are clusters of blisters.
- Bullous impetigo: Mostly seen in children under 2 years, blisters can form on the arms, legs, or trunk.
- Eczema: Blistering can occur alongside a number of other skin symptoms such as cracking, crusting, and flaking.
- Dyshidrosis: A skin condition characterized by a rapid occurrence of many small, clear blisters.
- Bullous pemphigoid: An autoimmune disease that affects the skin and causes blisters, this is most common in older patients.
- Pemphigus: A rare group of autoimmune diseases, this affects the skin and mucous membranes. The immune system attacks an important adhesive molecule in the skin, detaching the epidermis from the rest of the layers of skin
- Dermatitis herpetiformis: This chronic blistering skin condition is unrelated to herpes but similar in appearance.
- Cutaneous radiation syndrome: These are the effects of exposure to radiation.
- Epidermolysis bullosa: This is a genetic disease of the connective tissue that causes blistering of the skin and mucous membranes.
The main types of blisters are:
Other types of blister are named after the condition they are linked to, such as chickenpox and shingles blisters and atopic eczema blisters.
The most common type of blister for most individuals is the friction blister. In their most basic form, they occur due to increased shear stress between the surface of the skin and the rest of the body.
The layer of the skin most susceptible to shear forces is the stratum spinosum. As this layer tears away from the tissues below, a plasma-like fluid leaks from the cells and begins to fill the gap that is created. This fluid encourages new growth and regeneration.
Roughly 6 hours after the blister appears, cells at the base of the blister start to take up amino acids and nucleosides. These are the building blocks of protein and DNA.
At 24 hours, cell division is markedly increased. New skin layers above the stratum spinosum are steadily formed.
At 48 hours, a new layer of skin can be seen, and at 120 hours, a new upper layer of skin is visible.
As these new cells develop, the fluid is reabsorbed and the swelling subsides.
Painful blisters on the palm of the hands or soles of the feet are often caused by tissue shearing in deeper layers of the skin. These layers lie next to nerve endings, thereby producing more pain.
Most blisters will heal without medical intervention. As the new skin grows beneath the blister, the fluid will slowly disappear and the skin will naturally dry and peel off.
Popping blisters is not recommended, because the bubble is a protective layer that fends off infection.
Once the barrier is removed, the wound is open to potential invasion by bacteria and can become infected.
Covering the blister with a band-aid or gauze can help protect it from additional trauma while it heals.
If the blister bursts, resist the urge to peel off any dead skin on the top.
Allow the fluid to drain away naturally and carefully wash it with mild soapy water.
Cover the blister and the surrounding area with a sterile, dry dressing.
Some medications, such as hydrocolloid dressings, can help prevent further discomfort and encourage the healing process. Hydrocolloid dressings are available for purchase online.
Similarly, with blood blisters, allow them to heal under in their own time. They can be more painful than standard blisters and an ice pack can offer some relief. Place a towel over the affected area, ensuring that the ice pack does not come into contact with the skin directly.
Friction blisters are best prevented by removing the cause of the friction. This can be achieved in a number of ways.
Avoiding blisters on the feet
Wear well-fitted, comfortable footwear and clean socks. Badly fitted or stiff shoes, such as high heels, carry a higher risk of blistering. Moist skin blisters more easily, so socks that manage moisture or frequent sock changes can be helpful.
During exercise and sports, specially designed sports socks can reduce the amount of available foot sweat.
Adequately breaking in walking or hiking boots before embarking on a long trek is also important.
Applying tape, padding or moleskin to trouble spots can help prevent blisters from appearing. These products are available for purchase online. Even better are friction-management patches which are applied to the inside of shoes. These will remain in place longer, throughout many changes of socks or insoles.
Avoiding blisters on the hands
When using tools, carrying out manual work or playing a sport where holding a bat is necessary, wearing gloves will prevent the majority of blisters.
In some sports, such as gymnastics, weightlifting or rowing, taping up the hands is good practice. Additionally, talcum powder acts to reduce friction and can be used in combination with gloves and tape, or as a stand-alone option. But, because talcum powder absorbs moisture, it will not work well for long durations of activity.
Although blisters are a painful annoyance, they do not typically signify any medical issues. By following a few of the basic rules above, blisters can often be prevented.