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What are chilblains and what can be done about them?

Chilblains are a very frequent problem on the foot in winter environments. They are almost unknown in hotter climates. They are a painful response of the circulation in the toes after a foot is cold and is warmed up too rapidly. Because of this issue with the circulation not responding, there is an inflamation related response resulting in small reddish and itchy skin lesions on the toes. If the problem becomes more persistent the skin takes on a painful darker discolouration as the waste products increase.

The best management of chilblains is avoiding them. First of all, wear good hosiery and shoes so that the feet do not get too cool. In the event that the foot does become cold don't stick it in from of a heat source so that it gets warm too fast. The foot must be allowed to warm up slowly so the circulation has time to adapt to the changes in temperature. After a chilblain does develop it should be protected so that it can get better, especially if the skin is broken. Keep it covered to shield it from trauma from the shoe. Soothing chilblain creams may be used to stimulate the blood circulation and help get rid of the harmful toxins which have built up in the skin which are causing the inflammation and congestion. Care also needs to be taken to avoid further chilblains developing, so the techniques that needs to be used to prevent them must be used even more. You can easily develop another one before the first one has healed up converting this into a chronic condition. If the local measures to take care of the problem do not help, there are some drugs a doctor can suggest that can be used to open up the blood circulation. The medicine is not specific to the foot and work everywhere, so are restricted to the more serious cases. In the very most severe cases of chilblains, it is not uncommon that they be given advice to relocate and live in warmer environments.