What is the cause of chilblains?

Chilblains can be a very common problem of the feet in colder climates. They are virtually unheard of in warmer environments. They are a painful reaction of the blood circulation in the toes after a foot is cold and is heated up too rapidly. Due to this problem with the blood circulation not reacting, there's an inflammatory response leading to small red and itchy lesions on the skin on the toes. If the problem becomes more persistent the skin takes on a painful darker discolouration as the waste elements accumulate.

The most effective management of chilblains is preventing them. First of all, wear good socks and shoes so that the feet do not get too cold. In the event that the foot does become cold do not place it in from of the source of heat so that it warms up too rapidly. The feet need to be able to warm up slowly and gradually so the blood circulation has time to get used to the changes in temperature. Once a chilblain does develop it should be protected so that it will heal up, especially if the skin is broken. Keep it covered to protect it from trauma from the shoe. Soothing chilblain creams may be used to promote the circulation and help remove the waste products which have accumulated in the skin which are creating the inflammation and congestion. Care also needs to be taken to protect against further chilblains developing, so the methods that should be used to avoid them must be used even more. You can easily get another one before the first one has healed up converting this into a chronic issue. If the local measures to look after the chilblains do not help, there are some medicines a doctor can suggest that can be used to open up the circulation. The medicine is not specific to the feet and work everywhere, so are reserved for the more severe cases. In the very worst chilblains, it is not unusual that they be given advice to relocate and live in warmer climates.