Chilblains – What, Why and How to Prevent!

Chilblains, also known as pernio, are a common condition that occurs when poor blood circulation causes the small blood vessels in the feet and toes to become inflamed. This can happen when the feet are exposed to cold temperatures and dampness. Chilblains can be painful, and in severe cases, they can cause itching, burning, and even blistering.

There are several causes of chilblains. One of the main causes is poor circulation. Individuals with conditions such as Raynaud’s disease, lupus, and scleroderma are more susceptible to developing chilblains. These conditions cause the blood vessels to constrict, which can make it difficult for blood to flow properly to the feet and toes. In addition, poor nutrition, smoking, and alcohol consumption may also contribute to the development of chilblains.

Treatment for chilblains typically involves re-warming the affected area. This can be done by immersing it in warm (not hot) water for 10-15 minutes, or using a warm compress. Applying a moisturizer to the affected area can also help prevent cracking of the skin. Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation. Avoiding tight-fitting shoes or socks is also important, as these can constrict blood flow to the feet.

Preventing chilblains is crucial to avoid the pain and discomfort associated with the condition. Keeping your feet warm by wearing thick socks, insulated boots, and avoiding going barefoot in cold temperatures is essential. It’s also important to dry your feet thoroughly after being in damp or wet conditions. Avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption, eating a healthy diet that is rich in iron, vitamin C, and other nutrients that are important for good blood circulation, and exercising regularly to improve blood flow throughout the body are also important steps to prevent chilblains.

It’s recommended to check with a Podiatrist if you have a condition that makes you more susceptible to chilblains, or if your symptoms persist or worsen despite self-treatment. They may be able to provide you with more specific advice and treatment options. With proper care and prevention, chilblains can be managed and prevented, allowing you to enjoy the colder months without discomfort. We stock a large range of Heat Holder socks which are amazing at helping to keep your feet warm and specialist cream that can help to protect your feet and reduce the risk of chilblains becoming painful open wounds.

If you are struggling to manage your chilblains or not sure if that is what is wrong book to see one of our Podiatrist and they can help. Click Here to Book

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