Chilblains Is Common, Here Is How To Manage This Skin Condition

Chilblains is a skin condition that causes inflammation when the skin is exposed to extremely cold weather. Read more in this article.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Feb 15, 2022Updated at: Feb 15, 2022
Chilblains Is Common, Here Is How To Manage This Skin Condition

Have you suffered inflammation and redness in fingers and toes during extreme cold or hot weather? This condition seems normal but only a few people experience this particularly the ones with sensitive skin. This is a medical condition called as Chilblains or Pernio. This is completely treatable and preventable both if you give it the right care. Refer to this article for chilblains toes, treatment and preventive measures by Dr. Nivedita Dadu, Renowned Dermatologist, Founder & Chairman of Dadu Medical Centre.

Chilblains Meaning

“Chilblains is known as the medical condition which occurs when an individual is exposed to extreme cold and suffers tissue damage. It usually appears in silos, without being indicative of another disease. The main symptoms for Chilblains is the damage to the capillary beds in the skin, which causes redness, itching, inflammation and blisters. To reduce it, keep your feet and hands warm in cold weather and avoid extreme temperature changes. It appears when our skin is exposed to cold and then warm temperature. After this, when the skin gets cold, the blood vessels near the surface become narrower. When the skin comes in contact with heat, the blood vessels become wider and the blood vessels near the surface of the skin are unable to handle the sudden increase in blood flow. This leads to the blood to leak into the surrounding tissue, which causes swelling and itchiness that causes chilblains,” explains Dr. Dadu.

Causes and Risk Factors of Chilblains


The exact cause of chilblains is still unknown but it is speculated to be a reaction your body undergoes when it is exposed to extreme cold temperatures. When the body enters the rewarming stage, it causes expansion of small blood vessels more rapidly as compared to large blood vessels. However, there are certain chilblains risk factors that you must look out for:

  • Tight clothing: If you wear extremely tight clothes and that of friction-causing material, it can cause chilblains.
  • Wearing socks: If you have experienced this issue before, you must not wear tight socks. If required, wear clothes of only cotton .
  • Environment: Cold and humid climates are highly likely to cause chilblains. If you live in dry areas or extremely cold areas, you must take preventive steps.
  • Poor blood circulation: Since this condition is related to blood circulation, poor blood circulation can trigger this condition and people are more susceptible to it.
  • Immune disorder: There are several autoimmune conditions that can trigger chilblains. 

How to prevent Chilblains?


Here are some tips that you can use to keep this problem at bay:

  • To prevent chilblains, first ensure that your body doesn’t experience rapid temperature changes. If it is cold, wear socks, gloves and shoes that keep the body warm.
  • Exercise daily to blood blood circulation and reduce the risk of chilblains.
  • The best treatment is to warn the affected area with tepid but not hot water, as sudden temperature change may worsen it. 
  • Moisturize your feet regularly as it stops drying and cracking.
  • Eat warming foods and fruits such as dry fruits to keep your body warm in winters.
  • Avoid drugs or medicines that cause constriction of blood vessels. This also includes decongestants, tea, coffee, etc. to keep chilblains risk at bay.

Chilblains is not a serious condition and can be tackled with right aid. We tried to cover all the aspects in this article. Doctor recommends taking precautionary measures to lessen the risk of chilblains or skin inflammation.

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