The Mystery of Chilblains

Chilblains are painful lesions that typically appear on the toes in colder climates. They are not due to what is popularly thought as poor circulation but are due to a poor response of the circulation to changes in temperature in colder climates. Those who are healthy with good circulation still get chilblains and the reason for them is not entirely clear. They appear initially as small red patches on the toes that may be itchy. They later take on a dark blue colour as waste products build up in the skin. The best way to deal with chilblains is to not get them by preventing them. This is done by keeping the foot warm and not letting it get cold. If the foot does become cool, then it is extremely important that it is warmed up slowly. A too rapid warming up by, for example, putting the cold foot in from of a heat source is widely considered as what it is that causes a chilblain. Once a chilblain develops, various creams can be used to help the circulation and stimulate the removal of the waste products. It is important that the chilblain is protected from the shoe pressure with bandages of some type.

There are number of mysteries about chilblains that medical science has not yet explained. One of these is that there is quite a large group of people who used to have them and then one winter they just stopped occurring and have not occurred since. When you search and ask them what changed the year that they did not occur, you generally can find out nothing. There was no change in their health status or diet or anything else that can be identified. Obviously, if the reason for this could be found then that has the potential to open up a significant avenue for managing people with active chilblains.