Chilblains

Signs & Symptons

Chilblains are small, itchy swellings on the skin that occur as a reaction to cold temperatures. They affect the extremities such as the toes, fingers, heels, ears and nose.
Chilblains can also occur on areas of the feet exposed to pressure, such as a bunion or a second toe that is squeezed by tight shoes. Chilblains are uncomfortable, but can be prevented.
Chilblains are usually self-limiting, getting better on their own after a few weeks. However, while they disappear during warmer weather, they may return during cold seasons.

Causes

Chilblains occur when there is too rapid a change from cold to hot, so the chilblains occur after the foot is cold.
Some people's circulation is so sensitive that only small changes in temperature may be enough.
Damp living conditions can also be a contributing factor.

Treatment

Treatment will be to guard against extremes of temperature and this can be managed with certain insulating materials and footware or some topical preparations on the skin.