Chilblains.. what are they?

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Chilblains… We’ve seen a lot of these in clinic lately…

What are they?

Chilblains occur usually on your fingers and toes as a response to the cold weather. People who have circulatory issues will be more likely to develop chilblains.

Chilblains are usually red and itchy patches on the skin and can sometimes ulcerate but will usually go away on their own.

How to they occur?

When your fingers or toes are exposed to the cold the blood vessels restrict and get smaller. This will stop the blood from flowing so easily to this area. If the area is then warmed up too quickly the blood vessels start to get bigger which causes a rush of blood to the fingers and toes which causes the chilblain to occur.


Prevention is always better than cure with chilblains so try and keep your feet and hands as warm as possible in the winter months with thick socks and gloves.

If your feet do get cold warm them up gradually and massage the area.

If itching occurs, then you can use an over the counter lotion to ease the symptoms.

In some cases some medications may be prescribes such as vasodilators which open up the blood vessels and prevent them from restricting.

If the chilblain ulcerates or becomes infected contact your local Podiatrist, GP or Nurse.