NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Exposure to the bitter cold can turn your fingers or toes pale, but oftentimes this issue is not just poor circulation, but Raynaud’s syndrome.

In cold weather, your body tries to preserve your core temperature by constricting your blood vessels, which means that blood flow can become constricted.

If you have Raynaud’s phenomenon, this process becomes more extreme said Cardiologist Dr. Joyce Oen-Hsiao, Associate Prof. Clinical Medicine, at Yale School of Medicine.

“Usually we say once you have that phenomenon happen where you feel like your fingers are turning white, or cold or blue, that you want to quickly get into a place where you can warm up your fingers and toes. So you don’t stay in the cold for too long and then get the hypothermia, and the ischemia, and then the damage to the tissues,” Dr. Oen-Hsiao said.

Here are some tips to improve circulation in the winter to get blood flow back into your hands and fingers.

  • Keep moving
  • Wear layers
  • Massage your legs
  • Wear compression socks
  • Take a warm bath