Chilblains are pesky, itchy, annoying and painful. They are an inflammatory reaction in the toe or foot to the waste products that can accumulate because of the way that your small blood vessels respond to the change to the colder climate. The best approach to deal with chilblains is to keep warm and use a chilblain cream.
Despite being vigilant and using a chilblain cream regularly on the chilblains, it does not always help. There are many different chilblain creams that are available and they all have a good number of testimonials and anecdotes that any one of them is the best. That is not particularly helpful. What would be helpful is properly controlled clinical trials to try and determine which one of the many creams are more helpful for more people. That sort of research has not yet been done, unfortunately.
We do have a chilblain cream that we sell. We decided on that particular one as we noticed in various forums and social media groups that this cream is recommended by a lot of podiatrists in comparison to other creams. Having said that every one of the chilblain creams have their success stories and they also have their failures and it can be really disappointing of you get a chilblain cream and it does not help, especially when it does seem to help a lot of other people. All of the creams on the market do have active ingredients that will help the blood flow in the small blood vessels and help stimulate the circulation to allow the chilblain to heal.
Why did a particular chilblain cream not help you? There could be any number of reasons or a combination of reasons:
- You may not have chilblains. They normally are reasonably obvious, but if they are not responding then it may pay to get an accurate diagnosis (see: How to tell if you have a chilblain). There are some other unusual conditions that can on rare occasions cause similar symptoms.
- You may keep getting a new chilblain in the same spot or about the same spot. This type of chronic chilblain is common. So the cream may actually be helping, but may appear as though its not because the chilblain keeps happening. You may have to double down on your efforts to keep the foot warm and avoid the cold. Wear two pairs of wool socks every time you go outside if you can. Wear closed in shoes for further insulation from the cold.
- Sometimes spending several minutes rubbing the chilblain cream in may be worth it. That makes sure that it penetrates deep enough, but also the several minutes of massage on its own may be good to stimulate the circulation and the removal of the waste products.
- For every cream on the market, each one is just not going to help a few percent of people. That is the same for any cream for anything or any medicine for any medical condition – there is a few percent that just do not respond. That could be why that particular cream that you are using is not helping. It does not mean that its not a good cream.
If you use a chilblain cream and it does not appear to be helping, then it may not be because of the cream, so look for other reasons to help your chilblains get better. If need be consult a podiatrist for more help. There are some systemic drugs that they may liaise with your doctor that can be trialled if nothing seems to be helping the chilblains.