Usually found on the fingers, toes, nose or earlobes, chilblains are patches of discoloured (red, blue, white or purple), itchy and swollen skin that can be painful. They are thought to be caused by cold weather and poor circulation, especially in people with underlying health conditions such as anaemia. They can also be caused by tight shoes and damp socks.
When the temperature is cold, the blood vessels near your skin get smaller to conserve body heat and prevent blood flowing as freely. When you warm up again, they get bigger but the cold air and restricted blood flow can cause them to be overloaded and irritated. If the area is swollen or has blisters, you should use an antiseptic cream or consult your GP. Should you require a Podiatrist Gloucester, speak to https://www.propodiatry.co.uk/podiatry/gloucester/
The best way to prevent chilblains is to avoid prolonged exposure to cold temperatures and wear gloves, scarves and hats. When you do go out in cold weather, walk slowly to help your body heat up and wear loose, insulated boots with good ankle support. If you suffer from a condition such as diabetes or have poor circulation, ask your GP about taking oral medication such as vasodilators that can open up the blood vessels and improve circulation.
If you do develop chilblains, do not scratch them as this can cause them to break and bleed. If the chilblains are itchy and uncomfortable, try a soothing lotion such as calamine or witch hazel to relieve the itching and a 1% hydrocortisone cream from your pharmacy to alleviate any inflammation.