What are chilblains?Chilblains, also known as chilblain, pernio or perniosis are patches of swollen, discoloured and sometimes itchy skin often caused by a combination of cold weather and poor circulation. Chilblains often affect the toes however other areas of the body such as fingers, earlobes and the nose can also develop chilblains. Chilblains are very common and affect thousands of people over the world. Chilblains can be incredibly uncomfortable, itchy and often frustrating, particularly when they affect the toes. Wearing shoes can become very uncomfortable during the day. Some extreme cases can lead to blisters scabbing and potentially infection. This condition is often confused with other conditions like frostbite, Raynaud’s phenomenon and trench foot. Fortunately, Chilblains are treatable using both preventative methods and with the use of ointments or medication. The chilblains.org organisation has teamed up with “The Best Chilblains Treatment” to stock a very effective chilblains relief cream which has helped thousands of sufferers around the world.
How to avoid chilblains
Quit Smoking – The Nicotine in cigarettes causes constriction of blood vessels which can lead to poor circulation.
Stay Physically Active – Regular activity improves blood circulation.
Wear warm clothes - This includes insulating your hands and feet with gloves and thick socks or slippers. Other warm clothing suggestions include leg warmers or long socks and thermal undergarments when leaving warm areas.
Don’t wear tight shoes or boots - Any shoe or boot which is too tight can restrict the circulation to your feet and toes. Lack of circulation can cause or worsen chilblains. Ensure your feet are warm and your toes have room to move.
Consistent moisturising - This is to avoid cracking of the skin which will worsen the impact of chilblains.
Keep up the warm foods and drinks - This will warm your whole body up from the inside allowing your circulation to flourish and prevent parts of the body from isolating themselves and become too cold. Follow this particularly in colder weather.
Synchronise your temperature with that of your shoes - Having cold feet and stepping into warm shoes or having warm feet and stepping into damp/cold shoes will increase the risk of Chilblains. Try and ensure your shoes are never damp nor too warm as well as keeping your body at a consistent temperature.
Do not go outside without warming your hands up first - However do not warm them up too fast. Use warm water to gradually heat up your hands ready for outside. You do not want cold hands going into cold weather as this will increase the risk of getting chilblains.
Avoid a cold house or drafts - Use a heater in at least one room and close off areas subject to drafts. Any draft or wind tunnel can cause chills on the skin and dramatically change its temperature, worsening the impacts of chilblains.
Regularly check your feet (especially if you are diabetic) - Wearing socks constantly throughout the winter can mean many people do not see their feet often enough to check if any dryness, cracking or redness is leading to Chilblains. If you are Diabetic, you may not be able to feel your feet. Everyone therefore should ensure they are regularly checking their feet and that of any children to avoid having any case of chilblains without realising.