What exactly are chilblains?
Chilblains (also known as pernio) are tiny, itchy, red (and sometimes purple) swellings on the skin that can become increasingly painful as they grow and dry out, exposing the foot to infection. They can be found on the toes (especially the smaller ones), fingers, face (especially the nose), and ear lobes. They can also appear on pressure points on the feet, such as a bunion or where the second toe is pressed by tight shoes. They can also cause blisters and break down into a tiny ulcer that is susceptible to infection.
What is the source of them?
Chilblains are produced by an inappropriate reaction of the skin to cold. They form when the tiny blood arteries beneath the skin contract under cold conditions, decreasing blood flow until the area warms up again, causing some fluid leakage into the surrounding tissue. Not everyone develops them; it is largely determined by the efficiency of your circulation. People who have poor circulation or other health issues with their blood vessels are more likely to acquire chilblains. Furthermore, wet or draughty settings, nutritional variables, and hormone imbalance can all play a role. Furthermore, wet or draughty settings, nutritional variables, and hormone imbalance can all play a role. It is also thought that quick temperature shifts from cold to hot can be a cause: if the skin is chilled and then rapidly warmed close to a fire or with a hot water bottle, chilblains may develop.
Who gets them?
Although chilblains are prevalent, they primarily affect young adults who work outside in cold weather or persons who do not wear socks or tights in the winter. Elderly persons with less effective circulation, people who don't get enough exercise, and those suffering from anaemia are also at risk.
How do I know I've got them?
When winter arrives, sensitive persons will experience burning and itching on their hands and feet, which will worsen when they enter a warm place. There may also be some swelling or redness, and in severe cases, the skin's surface may break down, resulting in sores (ulcers).
How can I avoid them?
Keep your legs, feet, and body warm, especially if your circulation is weak and your mobility is limited, and wear DrLuigi medical footwear to avoid chilblains.
The entire body, not just the feet, must be kept warm. Long boots, tights, leg warmers, long socks, and gloves will also be useful.
When should I make an appointment with a podiatrist?
If you have any foot care difficulties that do not cure themselves naturally or through routine foot care within three weeks, you should consult a healthcare expert.