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Chilblains

Foot with frostbite

Chilblains are an inflammation of the skin that is frequently accompanied by itching or burning. Also known as perniosis, they are caused as a reaction to exposure to cold and are most often found on the small toes, fingers, face or nose. They may also occur on areas that bear pressure, like a bunion. People who have poor circulation or a poor diet are at more risk for developing the condition.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a chilblain can include a redness or pallor of the affected areas, a numbness, and hot, tender, itchy skin and there may be ulcerated or bleeding lesions. The areas may appear blue as they get congested and swollen. When they dry out, they may leave cracks in the skin, leaving the body open to infection.

Causes

Chilblains are caused by excessive constriction of the blood vessels just beneath the skin and most frequently is caused by the cold. Damp living conditions, hormonal imbalance, a poor diet, being anemic or sudden immersion in very cold water or cold environments can also contribute to chilblains. Poor circulation is also a factor. If you are diabetic or suffer from other conditions that affect the circulation, use caution. Eating nutritious foods, exercising and wearing properly fitting shoes will help improve circulation to the affected areas. In cold weather, dress appropriately and don't expose yourself to the elements any longer than necessary.

Cautions

Severe pain and cracking may require a visit to the doctor for relief and infection prevention. If infection has already set in, it should be seen by a professional.

Herbal Treatments

Internal Applications

External Applications

Aromatherapy

Use the oil in a carrier oil to massage affected areas.

Chilblains Herbal Remedies Top