Chilblains, also known as pernio or perniosis, is a painful skin condition that emerges due to repeated exposure to cold, damp conditions. This conditions often affects the extremities like fingers, toes, ears, and the nose. This condition can affect people of all ages but are more popular in populations living in colder climates.
Chilblains are caused by the abnormal constriction of blood vessels in response to cold temperatures. The cold constricts the blood vessels, and upon warming up again, they rapidly dilate, leading to blood leakage into the surrounding tissue. Some individuals also seem to be more susceptible to chilblains. Specifically, those who have poor circulation and certain medical conditions, and those living in cold, damp environments are more at risk.
The primary symptoms of chilblains typically appear within a few hours of exposure to cold temperatures and dampness. These symptoms may include:
red, swollen, and itchy patches on the skin
tender, painful bumps or lesions
changes in skin color, ranging from blue to white or pale
in severe cases, blisters, ulcers, or even secondary infections
Most cases of chilblains are manageable with simple measures and typically resolve within 3 weeks. Some ways to alleviate symptoms are:
keeping the affected areas warm using insulated clothing
applying a gentle moisturizer or barrier cream to protect the skin
use over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and swelling
avoid scratching the affected area to prevent secondary infection
Taking proactive measures to prevent chilblains is essential, especially for those at higher risk. Preventing chilblains include dressing warmly in cold and damp environments. They also include maintaining skin moisture, and avoiding quickly warming after cold exposure.
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Chilblains, also known as pernio or perniosis, is a common cold-weather phenomenon, affecting many people as temperatures drop. These are small, itchy, and painful swellings that typically occur on the skin of the extremities, such…