'Tis The Season... for Chilblains

It's that time of year again when Autumn tips over into Winter.

Some of us love it and some of us hate it.

You may love the crisp sunny days and the dark evenings getting cosy at home but if you suffer from Chilblains we imagine it's not your favourite time of the year.

Chilblains are apparently more common in children and young women but we see people in our clinic of all ages who suffer.

We find many in the older age bracket (shall we say!) report suffering as children but not as adults.

What is a Chilblain?

They are caused by an abnormal reaction to the cold.

They may occur when you have got cold and come back indoors a

nd start warming up.

This could cause a very rapid rewarming. Too quick for the little blood vessels to cope with.

The tiny blood vessels at our extremities will open up more quickly than the tiny veins that take the blood away, causing a rapid increase in blood flow that has nowhere to go. This reaction causes redness, swelling, and itching of the affected skin.

If I had a chilblain, where would it be?

The most common place for chilblains is the top of the toes but they can be a problem on heels, fingers, nose, and ears.

How long do they last?

Usually 2-3 weeks then symptoms begin to subside.

You can have one or many chilblain lesions.

Are chilblains serious?

Sometimes chilblains can become ulcerated and need specialist wound care to encourage them the heal and prevent bacterial infection.

How do you treat chilblains?

As with most things, prevention is better than cure.

In the case of chilblains, the advice is to try to keep your whole body warm, including your feet.

Wear a hat, gloves and scarf, warm socks, and appropriate enclosed and waterproof footwear.

Try to avoid becoming too cold and damp and maintain a good exercise regime and a healthy diet.

If you have got a chilblain you can buy creams from the pharmacy to help with the itching.

Keep your feet well moisturised throughout the year but in the colder

months consider a warming cream, like our Gehwol Red Cream or our Gewhol Warming Balm.

Thermal insoles in your shoes can also be helpful. We use an insulating material called Plastazote that we cut to your shoe size. It's very thin so doesn't fill up your shoe and helps retain the heat.

Thank You for taking the time to read our blog.

If you need some help and support to look after your feet we can help.

Please get in touch.

Fran & Helen x

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