Treating Chilblains: Red, Itchy and Swollen Toes

Do your fingers, toes, nose or even face turn red, itchy and swollen in winters? Does your problem subside as soon as the weather gets warm only to recur in next winter? You probably know quite clear that this is “Chilblains or Perniosis” but know nothing about how to cope with it.
Here we have some tips for you.

  • Avoid rapid change in temperature. Avoid both rapid cooling and rapid heating. Dip your hands and feet in warm (not hot) water before wearing gloves and socks instead of exposing them to a strong heat source.
  • Use some products that may help you stop the itching in your skin, such as chilblain cream.
  • Protect your hands and feet from dryness and trauma.
  • Always put thick moisturiser several times in a day. Keep any thick cream handy and apply it each time you feel dryness. Besides, avoid tight or loose shoes.
  • Keep your body warm. Remember that unless the core body temperature is warm, wearing gloves and socks will not help.
  • Wear warm clothing. Several layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing provide better protection than single thick one. Do not forget to cover your head, ears, neck and hand and feet as well.
  • Add more spices. Add spices like ginger, black pepper, thyme, turmeric to your meal or make a tea using these herbs. They help in warming up your body and improve circulation.

Home remedies

  • Warming up your skin gradually.
  • Improving circulation.
  • Counter-irritant effect of essential oils.


Consult Doctor

If the chilblains get worse despite taking the above measures or if you develop blisters, ulcers or infection, please Consult with a doctor. The dermatologist might prescribe you:

  • Topical Nitroglycerine: It helps by swelling the vessels and improving peripheral circulation.
  • Pentoxyphyline works by improving circulation and is well tolerated.
  • Steroid creams are used, only if you have associated eczema.
  • Topical and oral antibiotics are given if you have signs of infection in the form of severe pain, pus discharge or fever.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.