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  • Writer's pictureErin Fairbanks

What is Chilblains?

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

Do you... Enjoy walking outside? Work outside? Enjoy ice fishing? Ski or snowboard? Play hockey?

Chilblains is the painful inflammation of the smaller blood vessels in your skin. This is caused by the sudden warming of your skin after being in cold conditions. Chilblains can cause itching, red patches, swelling and blistering on your toes, fingers, ears and nose.

How do I avoid getting Chilblains?

To avoid chilblains, it is important to make sure that you wear warm clothes when you’re outside. Limiting your skin’s exposure to the cold air is important and making sure that your skin stays covered when you’re outside! This will involve having a good sturdy, water resistant pair of winter boots, some warm mitts and a scarf to cover your face. Make sure that you are taking breaks during your outdoor play to go inside and warm up! Chilblains is most easily prevented by rewarming feet slowly; not too rapidly.

What are the signs of Chilblains?

  • Small, itchy red areas on your skin, often on your feet or hands

  • Possible blistering

  • Swelling of your skin

  • Burning sensation on your skin

  • Changes in skin colour from red to dark blue, accompanied by pain

  • Possible ulceration

It is important to see your Chiropodist if you are experiencing severe pain or if there are any signs of infection!

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