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Battling Chilblains: Tips, Tricks & Treatments for the Winter Woes.


As the frosty winter settles in, many of us welcome cozy evenings by the fire or heater. However, for some, the cold weather brings about an unwelcome companion: chilblains. These painful and irritating lesions can put a damper on winter enjoyment. Fear not, for with the right precautions and treatments, you can keep chilblains at bay and enjoy the winter without worry.

Understanding Chilblains:

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Chilblains, also known as pernio, are a common condition triggered by exposure to cold and humidity. They typically affect the extremities, such as the toes, fingers, ears, and nose. When these areas are exposed to cold temperatures, blood vessels near the skin’s surface constrict, reducing blood flow. Upon rewarming, blood vessels may leak fluid into surrounding tissues, leading to inflammation, swelling, itching, and sometimes blistering.

Tips to Keep Chilblains at Bay:

  1. Dress Appropriately: Layering clothing is key to retaining body heat. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics (cotton or wool) close to the skin to keep dry and insulated outer layers to shield against the cold. Don’t forget hats, gloves, and warm socks to protect vulnerable areas.
  1. Stay Warm Gradually: Abrupt temperature changes can exacerbate chilblains. When coming in from the cold, avoid warming up too quickly by gradually increasing indoor temperatures. Warm up cold hands and feet with gentle rubbing or by soaking them in lukewarm water.
  1. Keep Moving: Physical activity promotes blood circulation, which can help prevent chilblains. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine to keep blood flowing to all parts of your body, including your extremities.
  1. Limit Exposure: Minimize time spent outdoors in extreme cold or damp conditions. If you must venture out, take breaks to warm up indoors periodically.
  1. Maintain Good Foot Care: Keep your feet dry and warm, especially in winter boots. Moisturize regularly to prevent dry, cracked skin, which can increase susceptibility to chilblains.
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Treatment Options:

  1. Warm Compresses: Apply warm compresses (e.g. wheat pack) to affected areas to promote circulation and alleviate discomfort.
  1. Topical Treatments: Over-the-counter creams containing ingredients like aloe vera or calamine can soothe itching and inflammation. Avoid direct application of heat, as this can exacerbate symptoms.
  1. Elevation: Elevating affected extremities can help reduce swelling and improve blood flow.
  1. Medications: In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe medications like calcium channel blockers to improve blood flow or corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.


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Chilblains may be an unwelcome companion during the winter months, but with proper precautions and timely treatment, you can minimize their impact and enjoy the season to its fullest. Remember to dress appropriately, stay warm gradually, and take steps to protect your extremities from the cold.

If you do develop chilblains, don’t hesitate to try the suggested tips and treatments, or seek medical advice if symptoms persist or worsen. With a little care and attention, you can keep chilblains at bay and embrace the magic of winter without fear.

If you need help with chilblains or have any questions about preventing or treating them,  feel free to book online or call us on 7120 6063!. We’re here to support you in enjoying a comfortable and chilblain-free winter. Stay warm and take care!

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