Chilblains can be described as the inflammation of the skin that is sometimes accompanied with burning or itching. Pressure bearing surfaces on the feet such as bunions are at risk from chilblains, and the condition is often found on the little toes as well.
Chilblains are often swollen, red lumps, and if left untreated they can become dry and cracked, leaving the foot prone to infection.
Chilblains are thought to be caused by an abnormal skin reaction to cold. People at risk from Chilblains are those who are susceptible to cold temperatures, e.g. people with poor circulation or unhealthy diets.
Chilblains typically last a few days and then gradually ease and go over a week or so unless the exposure to cold continues.
Prevention & Treatment:
If you suspect you have Chilblains then contact a Podiatrist or Chiropodist for advice.
Do not apply extreme heat or cold to the affected area. Gradually warm the feet up.
If you suffer from poor circulation then keep yourself warm, especially legs and feet.
If possible, take regular vigorous exercise. This should be indoors such as on an exercise bike or in a gym. The theory is that this will improve the circulation to the hands and feet.