- by Dr Sachith Abraham
- 1 Shares
- Jan 29 2018
Chilblains: The winter swelling condition
Swelling during the winter is a very common condition which affects people across all ages. Chilblains are the swellings that develop as a reaction to cold temperatures and affect the toes, fingers, heels, nose and ears.
What are the symptoms?
The itchy swellings develop within a few hours of exposure to the cold and cause a burning sensation in the affected area. The skin in the affected area swells up and turns red or dark blue. Sometimes the skin can even break which results in the development of blisters or sores.
Why does this happen?
This condition is an abnormal reaction to damp, cold weather conditions which usually occurs during the winters. For many, these sores develop and stay for months together as long as the winter lasts.
Due to low temperatures, the blood vessels near the surface get narrower and when exposed to heat, they expand. If the person moves from cold to hot temperatures too quick, the blood vessel cannot always handle the increased flow of blood causing it to leak into the surrounding tissues. This causes the itching and swelling that arises due to chilblains.
Treating winter swelling
Usually, the chilblains get better on their own over a wekk or two. Using a lotion to soothe the skin like calamine or witch hazel can help reduce the itching. In some cases, the doctor will recommend some everyday medication which aids in relaxing the blood vessels and improving blood circulation. Avoiding tight footwear, using warm clothing and moisturising the body can help prevent chilblains.
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