Chilblains

Chilblains are the condition of inflammation of blood vessels of the skin when it is exposed to sudden warming from cold climate. It is also called pemio chilblains. This disorder will cause red patches, swelling, itching and painful blisters on fingers and toes and even on nose and ears. No treatment is required for chilblains since it will resolve on its own, once the weather improves.

The rashes and blisters will take maximum 2-3 weeks to disappear. In rare cases, it can cause infection. Chilblains do not appear immediately after exposure to cold temperature. It takes several hours for itching and blisters to appear on the skin after the body gets exposed to very cold temperature.

Symptoms :

There will be burning sensation on the extremities (on hands and legs) and the skin changes its original color forming dark blue color. There will be severe itching followed by the appearance of red scaly patches and blisters on the skin. The skin develops swelling which leads to blister formation. Red itchy areas are profoundly seen on arms and fingers and toes. In rare cases, there will be ulcerous growth on the skin due to blood leakage under the skin. Due to heavy cold weather, some people will have chilblains for 4-5 months during peak season. It would leave scars on the skin, even after the disappearance of blisters.

Causes :

Exact cause of chilblains is yet to be invented. It is believed to be caused due to abnormal allergic reaction in the body due to exposure to cold temperature which is followed by warmth. Tiny blood vessels of the skin will expand more quickly than larger ones leading to leakage of blood within the tissues under the skin. This will cause rash, itching and painful blisters on the skin.

Risk Factors :

Chilblains can occur on any person, irrespective of their age but is largely seen in elderly people and children with weakened immunity. People who have circulatory disorders have increased chance for getting affected with this problem. Chilblains are found in Europe during winter season. Women are more commonly affected than men. The place/area where you live and the season of the year are deciding factors for chilblains. Individuals who are exposing their skin to cold temperature 1`are likely to get affected with chilblains.

Treatment :

Over the counter creams and lotions are available to manage itching and rashes. You can consult your doctor if the blisters get worse and are painful. He would prescribe nifedipine for relaxing blood vessels beneath the skin thus allowing free flow of blood.

Topical corticosteroids are given for managing itching. You can also take Trental for reducing swelling on the skin. Before applying any ointment or cream, you need to clean the injured area for protecting against any possible infection.

Pictures of Chilblains :

Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Chilblains

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Prevention :

Chilblains can easily be prevented if you do not expose your skin to cold temperature for long. Keep your body well covered if you need to live in cold weather. You can take precautions to keep your skin warm in cold climate. Apply lot of lotions that manage itching and swelling.

In case you have to stay in cold weather, make sure that you keep your hands and feet warm. Only sudden warming of skin causes chilblains so you can casually try any methods for protecting and warming your skin. Earlier it was thought that taking Vitamin D supplement is useful for treating chilblains; however there is no proof available till now.

Related posts:

  1. Blood Blisters
  2. Lip Blisters
  3. Dyshidrotic Eczema
  4. Itchy Skin
  5. Myringitis

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