As winter rapidly approaches, it feels like we have to switch up our care routine to prevent a whole new batch of issues that can occur with our feet! One of those common winter afflictions is a condition called chilblains. If you’ve ever rushed inside from the cold to warm up your feet and experienced a burning or itching sensation in your toes and feet, you’ve likely experienced chilblains.
What are chilblains?
Chilblains are an inflammatory response to a tissue injury caused by cold and humidity. The cold can damage your skin’s capillary beds, which can become irritated. Chilblains are often associated with the following:
Typically chilblains occur alone, but can sometimes be a manifestation of a more serious condition. A history of chilblains might point to connective tissue disease, so check in with your podiatrist if you experience them often.
How can I prevent chilblains?
It’s no doubt that chilblains can be uncomfortable! Luckily, they are mostly preventable. Follow these steps:
- Dress properly for the cold, including enclosed shoes and warm socks
- Avoid tight-fitting socks or shoes
- Try to avoid sustained contact with the cold outdoors
- When coming back in, gradually warm up your feet
- Improve blood circulation through regular exercise
If you have diabetes or another condition coupled with poor circulation, it’s important to consult your podiatrist for other treatment and prevention options.
I got chilblains, now what?
If seen by a podiatrist, chilblains will heal within a week or two. Here’s how they’re treated:
- Keeping the area warm
- Applying a topical steroid cream
- Taking vitamin D and calcium supplements
If left untreated, chilblains can lead to skin ulceration, cracked or broken skin, and infection.
If you’re suffering from chilblains, or any other foot or ankle issue, call us today. Our team of foot doctors here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers is equipped with a wealth of knowledge and resources in caring for any foot or ankle issue. We provide the best in foot and ankle care and utilize the newest diagnostic and treatment techniques and technologies! Our friendly and knowledgeable staff has unparalleled experience and can help you at any of our six conveniently located Connecticut offices. Request an appointment today!