Chilblains explained
Friday 15 December 2017

A chilblain is a condition that occurs when some people are exposed to cold and damp, causing skin and tissue damage.

This damage to small blood vessels in the skin causes redness, itching, burning and inflammation.Certain prominences on the feet such as bunions, hammer toes or mini bunions are very prone to shoe pressure, which in turn risks chilblains in cold weather.

They can be very painful and occasionally lead to ulceration of the skin

PreventionChilblains can be prevented or reduced by keeping your feet and hands warm, especially in cold damp weather.

Wear good, warm shoes and socks. Keep yourself warm by wearing appropriate clothing, hat and gloves. (Chilblains can also occur on fingers, ears and on the nose)

Exercise regularly to improve your circulation and try to eat a healthy diet

It is also good to avoid extreme temperature changes such as coming in from the cold and warming your feet on a radiator or hot water bottle.

TreatmentIf you suffer from chilblains there are some medications your GP or specialist can provide which promote better circulation to the extremities. There are certain B vitamins which may cure a chilblain.

Bunions and hammer toes should be looked at by a Podiatrist or Podiatric Surgeon such as Mr Eoin Baldwin who is a Consultant Podiatric Surgeon at North Downs Hospital.


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