Friday, 9 December 2011

How to Treat Chillblains

Chillblains are areas of itchy, 'bruised' or sore skin that affect the extremities, especially in cold weather. Although the exact cause is still debated, it's clear that poor circulation is a major factor and it's probable that the capillaries become damaged when they over-react to the cold by contracting too much.

The most common place to get chillblains is in the toes, and it can feel like you've stubbed your toes or worn too-tight shoes.

There are a few things you can do if you are prone to chillblains:

1. Wear warm, comfortable socks and shoes, including slippers indoors, especially if you have cold, hard floors. A few moments standing on a cold floor can affect your chillblains.

2. Stay active. Gentle exercise improves circulation. Walk or jog rather than cycling in very cold weather, unless you have very good cycling shoes, since cyclists often complain of cold feet. Indoor exercise is fine!

3. Avoid scratching your chillblains. They can become infected.

4. Take baths rather than showers to thoroughly warm your feet and extremities.

5. Use lambswool inner soles and thick-soled shoes or boots outdoors to reduce heat conduction.

6. Keep your feet warm at night with good bed covers and or an electric blanket.

7. Some people swear by lanolin, since it's also a good insulator. Rub this into your toes before you go outside.

8. Visit a foot care professional regularly if you have any foot problems, including chillblains!

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