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What is the best treatment for chilblains?

  • June 6, 2020

Chilblains are a very frequent problem of the foot in winter climates. They are nearly unknown in warmer environments. They are a painful response of the circulation in the toes after a foot is cold and are heated up too quickly. Because of this problem with the blood circulation not reacting, there is an inflammatory response that results in small reddish and itchy lesions on the skin on the toes. As the problem becomes more chronic the skin takes on a painful dark discolouration as the harmful toxins build up.

The ideal treatment of chilblains is avoiding them. Firstly, wear good socks and footwear so that the feet do not get too cold. In the event that the foot does become cold do not stick it in from of a heat source so that it gets warm too rapidly. The foot should be able to warm up slowly so the circulation has time to get used to the alterations in temperature. After a chilblain does develop it should be protected so that it will heal up, particularly if the skin is damaged. Keep it covered to protect it from damage from the footwear. Soothing chilblain creams can be used to stimulate the circulation and help eliminate the waste products that have built up in the skin which are causing the inflammation and irritation. Care must also be taken to protect against further chilblains developing, so the techniques that ought to be used to prevent them should be used even more. It is possible to get another one before the first one has healed up transforming this into a chronic problem. If the local measures to take care of the chilblains do not help, there are some medicines a doctor can recommend which you can use to open up the circulation. The drugs are not unique to the foot and work everywhere, so are restricted to the more serious cases. In the very most severe chilblains, it is not uncommon that they can be given advice to relocate and live in warmer environments.

George Brooks

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