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Chilblains Home Remedies - How to Get Rid of Chilblains

Chilblains are manly painful itchy and/or tender red or purple bumps that occur as a reaction to cold. The condition is also known as pernio and is a localised form of vasculitis. They tend to occur on the 'extremities' that more easily become cold. That is, the toes, fingers, nose, and earlobes. However, other areas of skin sometimes develop chilblains when they become cold. For example, the heels, lower legs and thighs (especially in horse riders). Chilblains are acral ulcers that occur when a predisposed individual is exposed to cold and humidity. Causes are idiopathic or manifestations of serious medical conditions that need to be investigated. Chilblains can be prevented by keeping the feet and hands warm in cold weather. Smoking cessation is advised. A consultation with a dermatologist is mandatory. It is thought that about 1 in 10 people in the UK get chilblains at some stage in their life. It is not clear why some people get chilblains when their skin gets cold. It is probably due to 'poor circulation' in the extremities (toes, fingers, etc). The tiny blood vessels under the skin narrow (constrict) when the skin becomes cold. The blood supply to areas of skin may then become very slow. As the skin re-warms there is some leakage of fluid from the blood vessels into the tissues. In some way this causes areas of inflammation and swelling leading to chilblains. The speed (rate) of temperature change may play a part. Some people get chilblains if they warm up cold skin too quickly. For example, with a hot water bottle or by sitting very close to a fire.

Chilblains is an inflammation of the skin, accompanied by burning and itching. Chilblains usually occur on the smaller toes. Chilblains are more likely to develop in those with poor peripheral circulation. The elderly, sedentary, teenagers and people with medical conditions (such as anaemia) are most susceptible. They occur due to an abnormal reaction of the body to cold. A chilblain may also occur on a pressure bearing area such as a bunion. The cold causes constriction of the small blood vessels in the skin and if rewarming of the skin happens too rapidly, there is leakage of blood into the tissues as the blood vessels do not respond quickly enough to this rewarmin. They are a kind of 'cold injury'. People who suffer them seem to have poor circulation. When they get cold, the small arteries in the skin constrict more than usual and this seems to lead to inflammation which causes the swellings. Some people with chilblains also suffer from Raynaud's phenomenon. They occur most commonly when there is a sudden change in temperature.

Home Remedy for Chilblains

  • Avoid scratching.
  • Zambuk ointment.
  • Wear woollen or cotton socks.
  • Keep area warm.
  • Use calamine lotion or witch hazel to soothe the itching. Your chemist may also supply a suitable product.
  • Gentle exercise will improve circulation to your feet.
  • Apply sunscreen to exposed skin even on dull days.
  • Exercise vigourously before going outside.






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