Chilblains are an inflammatory response in the skin that occur when the micro-circulation in the skin does not respond adequately to a change from being cold to warming up.
What Do they Look Like:
Chilblains initially appear as small red and often itchy areas on the skin of the toe. They can become more painful and develop a dark bluish colour. As they dry out the skin in the area of the chilblain can cracks.
What Causes Them:
The exact cause is not known, but they do occur after an area has got cold and is warmed up to rapidly for the circulation to respond. As the circulation does not respond quick enough waste products build up in the skin causing the inflammation. They are not due to poor circulation, but are due to how the circulation responds to temperature changes. Those with healthy circulation also get them. Damp living conditions may also possible play a role in causing chilblains.
What Can You Do About Them:
If you get a chilblain do not rub or scratch the chilblain. Avoid exposing the foot to direct heat sources, but instead use woollen socks to keep warm. If the skin is broken, use an antiseptic and bandage to prevent infection. To prevent chilblains, it is important to prevent the feet from getting cold and it they do get cold, then only warming them up very slowly.
Products that may help:
Free resource sheet researched by a journalist on Chilblains with every FootStore.com.au purchase
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