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Chilblains by Wikipedia

The cooler weather is starting to creep up on us, and the incidence of chilblains will start to rise.

What are Chilblains?

Chilblains are red lumps or sores that can develop on toes and fingers and can be quite painful or itchy. They can also affect your nose or ears as well. In severe cases they can cause breakdown of the skin and ulcerations.

They occur as a result of your body’s inability to adapt quickly enough to changes in temperature. They only happen in cool weather. The blood vessels shrink and then suddenly expand again when exposed to warmth. This causes leakage of fluid out of the vessels and inflammation in the soft tissue.

Who gets chilblains?

Chilblains are more common in females, and in females are more common prior to puberty and after menopause. The are also more common in slim people and smokers.

Tips for treating chilblains

It’s best to avoid sudden changes in temperature (like suddenly warming your feet in front of a heater if they are cold). If they develop there are topical ointments that can be applied to help with the itching and pain. They usually heal up in a few weeks. Your podiatrist can give helpful advice on topical treatments, insulating insoles, dressings should the lesions break down and prevention tips. Other treatments include regular exercise for circulation and stopping smoking.

If they are a chronic concern or severe there are oral medications from your GP that can help. Your podiatrist at The Perth Foot and Ankle Clinic can help with prevention and management tips for your chilblains.