Chilblains are small localized itchy, tender erythema and swelling caused by exposure to cold. The condition is also known as pernio or perniosis.  They usually clear up on their own after exposure to warm but when severe, blistering and ulceration may also occur. In People with poor peripheral circulation, moderate cold exposure may cause chilblains.

Chilblains Symptoms: Chilblain usually occurs few hours after you have been exposed to cold. It occurs commonly on hand, feet, ear and face, especially in children but can also occurs in adults. Initially you may be unaware of cold injury, but later burning, itching and redness grasps your attention. Affected areas are usually bluish-red,color partially or completely disappearing on pressure and cool to touch.



Treatment and Prevention of Chilblains:

  • Treatment is usually not required as they usually resolve by themselves.
  • The area should be protected against further exposure to cold.
  • Heating pads may be used to warm the area.
  • For itchy cases local soothing creams like calamine lotions can be bought from a pharmacy.
  • If condition is severe some steroids cream can be applied locally.
  • If the condition is not under control, you should visit the doctor.
  • Your doctor may prescribe some vasodilator like nifedipine 20mg 8 hourly, depending on your condition.
  • Smoking is strictly discourage.
  • Woolen socks and gloves should be worn throughout the winter if feet and hand are affected.
  • As central cooling triggers peripheral vaso-constriction, thus resulting in vascular injury with further tissue injury leading to chilblains. So warm clothes should be worn even if you doesn’t sense any cold.

More Discussion about Chilblains see here: Red, swollen, itchy and painful finger

If you have any problems concerning chilblains you can ask the Experts here: DermaTalk Skin Care Advice

Other similar condition due to cold injury are Trench Foot and Frostbite