Chilblains are small, itchy swellings on the skin that occur as a reaction to cold temperatures. They are found in people with poor circulation in the feet. They affect the body’s extremities, such as the toes, fingers, heels, ears and nose.
Cause of Chilblains:
They are caused by the skin’s abnormal reaction to cold, damp or draughty conditions.
They can occur when there is too rapid a change from cold to hot, so the chilblains occur after the foot is cold.
A poor nutrition can be a contributing factor.
They can be due to hormonal imbalances in your body.
Chilblains are more common in those that are just more susceptible to them – the reasons for this are not entirely clear.
Signs & Symptoms of Chilblains:
Chilblains are characterized by small itchy, burning, redness or swellings on the skin, which become increasingly painful as they get congested and take on a dark blue appearance. They may also become swollen, and dry out, leaving breaks in the skin and exposing the foot to the risk of infection. They occur on the extremities—the toes, fingers, the face (especially the nose and the ear lobes). They can also occur on areas of the feet exposed to pressure, such as on a bunion or where the toes are squeezed by tight shoes.
If you suspect you have chilblains please seek professional help from your nearest HCPC registered Podiatrist, Physiotherapist or your GP.