In short, Chilblains can be defined as “cold injury”. Though it causes pain it does not create any impairment or malfunctioning to the skin. They are also called as acral ulcers which would infect the extremities of an individual. The infected part of the skin becomes red, swollen and may cause itch. Chilblains affect the individuals who are exposed to extreme cold climate and humidity. Because of the cold weather the capillary beds of the skin get damaged causing blisters and itching sensation. Predominantly the illness is observed only in winter season and by keeping the toes and hands warm you can very well avoid chilblains.
The disease affects only the extreme or end parts of the body like hands, toes, ears and nose. The affected skin may develop blisters and lesions causing irritation. It may get transformed into dermatitis if not treated properly. Sometimes the person affected with chilblains may feel slight pain and the color of the skin will change to dark red or blue. In severe cases the disease may cause ulcers if the layer of the affected skin gets broken down. With proper care and treatment chilblains may settle down within two weeks.
The main reason for the formation of chilblains is due to exposure to cold weather. It may develop when the skin is completely left chilled and suddenly made warm by gas fire etc. In some cases abnormal body reactions can cause chilblains. Hormonal changes in the body and malnutrition may be the reason. People who work in cold atmosphere are more prone to chilblains than normal individuals.
No special treatment is required for curing chilblains. Keeping the body in warm condition can improve the condition. Application of topical steroid ointment in the affected area will reduce the inflammation and itching sensation. Doctors would prescribe Nifedipine medication which helps in dilating the blood vessels and heal swelling. It will also prevent further spreading of the disease. Avoid scratching the skin which causes itches; instead apply topical creams for healing the blisters.
Normally wear comfortable clothes to keep yourself warmer when working in winter season. Keep your feet and hands warm by wearing proper socks and gloves. You can prevent chilblains by keeping yourself warm.