You look at your fingers or toes, and there they are: chilblains, a common phenomenon that can make an appearance on your skin in the cold weeks.
According to Mayo Clinic, chilblains are painful inflammation of small blood vessels in the skin that occur in response to repeated exposure to cold, but not freezing air. They are also known as leg erythema.
These are the symptoms of chilblains
You will recognize chilblains because they are small red rashes that present with pruritus.
These are their main symptoms to identify chilblains.
- dark red spots
- Blisters or ulcers on the hands and feet
- Burning sensation on the skin
- Changes in skin color from red to dark blue
- pain and discomfort
The areas of the body where chilblains are most common They are the fingers and toes, although they can also appear exposed to the weather, such as the ears and nose.
People with diabetes or those with poor blood circulation are those who experience the most difficulties in healing.
How to prevent chilblains (and how long they take to go away)
Chilblains usually go away on their own after 1 to 3 weeks. especially if the weather is hotter or the thermometers rise. It is not usual for them to produce permanent lesions, although if left untreated, the appearance of an infection is likely.
The best approach to prevent the appearance of chilblains is, according to the mayo clinic, limit exposure to cold, especially sensitive areas or if you have already suffered them on other occasions.
So don’t forget dress in warm clothes and cover exposed skin. Don’t walk barefoot and remember pWear gloves during the colder months of the year.
How to cure chilblains: best products and home remedies
For get rid of chilblains fastit is advisable to gently reheat the affected skin areas, without massaging or rubbing them, or applying direct heat. The place where the chilblains have appeared should be dry and warmbut not in contact with heat sources.
You can use a dehumidifier at home and keep the thermostat at a comfortable temperature by changing gloves and socks as soon as they are damp.
Some of the medicines that your doctor can prescribe if the chilblains persist they are not Nifedipine (Procardia)—a blood pressure medication that dilates blood vessels and improves circulation—or a topical corticosteroid cream to make the lesions disappear.
Also, there are more home remedies for chilblains: clean the skin with an antiseptic, bandage it gently to prevent infection, do not scratch, apply an anti-itch lotion and avoid smoking, as tobacco slows wound healing by constricting blood vessels.