Chilblains are a common ailment during the winter season among children and the elderly, they usually affect the extremities like the hands and feet. This painful inflammation is mainly caused by poor circulation and exposure to extreme heat and cold. What are Chilblains and how does it look like?
Chilblains are red patches that come in blotches and appear usually on the toes and hands. But it can also appear in other parts of the body like the face for instance. These can become painful, itchy and even burning. It is quite common during winter time and mostly affects children and the elderly. What are the common signs?
Painful, itching and burning sensation on the swollen areas. These are red in colour and come in patches or blotches of red colour skin. The swollen Chilblains may cause the skin surface to crack. Severe cases may lead to soreness or ulceration of the skin. What causes Chilblains?
During winter or cold months, Chilblains result from prolonged exposure of extremities to cold conditions that cause the reduction of blood circulation in these areas. The small blood vessels become inflamed. This is mainly because the amount of blood that travels to cold hands and feet drops due to constricted blood vessels. But when the body starts to get warm again, the fluid from the expanding blood vessels leaks out of the vessels and into the tissue around it to cause pain and swelling. It usually takes several hours after exposure to cold before Chilblains develop. What are the common ments?
Even though Chilblains are expected to heal on their own in a matter of one to two weeks, it will still be best to keep it under warm, even temperature. Use warm wool socks or slipper and do the following:
- try to maintain an even temperature by avoiding overheating
- avoid hot baths and showers, use of electric blankets, hot water bottles and heaters
- wear shoes that are not too tight to alleviate pressure
- use dry dressing
- you may opt to put topical antibiotic cream
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