What is Chilblains?
Chilblains or CHILL–blains is a skin condition caused by the inflammation of small blood vessels in the skin due to frequent contact with cold but not freezing air. These are very painful inflammation and are also known as pernio. Apart from pain, it can also cause severe itching, red patches, swelling and mostly affects hands and legs.
What are the Symptoms of Chilblains?
The symptom of Chilblains completely depends on the degree of intensity. Some of the common symptoms may include swelling or inflammation of the skin, burning sensation on the affected areas, one may develop small, itchy red areas on the skin of legs and hands. The person suffering from this condition can notice the changes in skin color. It may turn blue from red and may become more painful.
What are the Causes of Chilblains?
This condition is caused by the cold weather. Too much cold can trigger small blood vessels close to the surface of your skin to stiffens and the moment you warm up, these vessels would expand rapidly affecting blood to leak into adjacent muscles and tissues, which will lead to swelling. This disorder can be the response to cold exposure and rewarming.
When to see a Doctor?
In most cases, it doesn’t need any intervention from a doctor. However, if someone is experiencing severe pain then it is advisable to talk to a physician. Also, if the symptoms are staying more than two weeks and not improving then there is a possibility of an infection and need assistance. Patients with diabetes or poor circulation should be very cautious and if you see any complications visit a doctor.
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Chilblains
Limiting exposure to cold can help in preventing this condition. Wearing adequate winter wear during cold weather is important. Trying to dress in layers of baggy clothing and water-resistant footwear is best. Additionally, try to cover all exposed skin during cold weather in case you are going out. Keeping hands and feet warm and dry is very crucial.