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Chilblains: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Jan 29, 2024

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Causes Of Chilblains

Symptoms Of Chilblains

Risk Factors Of Chilblains

Diagnosis Of Chilblains

Treatment Of Chilblains

Prevention Of Chilblains

Complications Of Chilblains


Chilblains is a disorder that results in blistering and swollen, inflammatory patches on the hands and feet. Exposure to chilly, humid air that is just below freezing temperatures is the cause. Symptoms can appear several hours after being in the cold.

By minimizing your exposure to the cold, wearing warm clothing, and covering any exposed skin, you can avoid experiencing cold flashes. Keeping the afflicted area warm and dry could help to lessen the symptoms if you do get chilblains.

Perniosis, another name for chills, typically goes away in two to three weeks, especially as the temperature warms. For years, you may experience the same symptoms every winter.

Usually, the illness has no long-term consequences.

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Causes Of Chilblains

What precisely causes chilblains is unknown. Your body may unusually react to cold and then warm up again in response to it. When cold skin is re-heated, smaller blood vessels beneath the skin may enlarge more quickly than the bigger blood vessels nearby can hold.

Also Read: Helicobacter Pylori: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Symptoms Of Chilblains

Symptoms of chills include:

  • Small, itchy skin lesions on your hands or feet.
  • Sores or blisters.
  • Swelling
  • Pain.
  • Differences in skin tone.

Also Read: Babesiosis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

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Risk Factors Of Chilblains

The subsequent factors increase the risk of chilblains:

  • Wearing shoes that are excessively tight or leave skin exposed to the environment.
  • If you wear too-tight shoes or clothing in cold, damp weather, you may be more likely to have chilblains.
  • Being a young woman. This sickness is more common in females between the ages of 15 and 30.
  • Being underweight. This disease typically impacts people with low body mass.
  • Living in a cold, humid climate. You have a higher chance of developing chilblains if you live in an area with high humidity and cool, but not freezing, weather.
  • Having certain health issues. SARS-CoV-2, connective tissue disease, and Raynaud's phenomenon are among them.

Also Read: Trichinosis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Diagnosis Of Chilblains

To diagnose chilblains, your healthcare provider will inspect the affected skin area, talk with you about your symptoms, and ask about any recent cold exposure. Inform your healthcare provider if you're not sure if the temperature is below freezing. If you were, you might suffer frostbite.

Blood tests may be necessary to rule out other conditions. As an alternative, your doctor may take a small sample of the affected skin and examine it in a lab under a microscope. This examination is known as a skin biopsy.

Also Read: Actinomycosis Treatment, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Types

Treatment Of Chilblains

To take care of your chilblains at home, make sure your hands and feet are warm and dry. If self-care measures are ineffective in relieving your chilblain symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medication, such as:

  • A topical corticosteroid: Clotting on a corticosteroid, like cream containing 0.1% triamcinolone, might ease the sores that are a sign of your chilblains.
  • Prescription drugs for hypertension: If your symptoms don't improve after trying other therapies, your doctor can suggest a blood pressure medicine such as nifedipine To treat chilblains, this specific type of calcium channel blocker increases blood flow.

Also Read: Group A Streptococcal Infections : Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Prevention Of Chilblains

To prevent chilblains:

  • Minimise exposure to cold or avoid it as much as possible.
  • After coming in from the cold, gently warm the skin.
  • Along with layers of baggy clothing, wear mittens, a hat, a scarf, and water-resistant shoes.
  • Make sure you adequately cover any exposed skin while venturing outside in cold weather.
  • Hands, feet, and face should all remain warm and dry.
  • Make sure the temperatures where you live and work are adequate.
  • Avoid smoking.

Also Read: Mucormycosis : Types, Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Complications Of Chilblains

Skin thinning and scarring may be the outcome of chronic chilblains symptoms that arise from repeated exposure to damp, chilly conditions.

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