What are chilblains?

Chilblains, also known as pernio or perniosis, are small red, blue or purple lesions that develop on the skin as a reaction to cold temperature. They can often be swollen, painful and itchy. They are most common on the toes, heels and other weight bearing areas of the feet.

Do you suffer from chilblains?

Signs & symptoms of chilblains

The following signs or symptoms can indicate a chilblain on the foot:

  • A small red, blue or purple lesion on your foot
  • A burning pain on the skin or intense itching.
  • The skin is often red, inflammed and swollen in the acute phase.
  • As it undergoes healing it changes from a red to dark blue, bruised colour.
  • The skin may develop hard skin or callus as it heals
  • In extreme cases the chilblain can breakdown into an ulcer.
Chilblain treatment Camberwell

Causes of chilblains

Chilblains are a reaction caused by the skin’s exposure to cold temperature. They are most common in people who have poor circulation or who have a condition that affects their circulation such as diabetes, vasculitis or Raynaud’s disease.

Sudden temperature changes to the skin can also exacerbate chilblains. When the skin is cold, blood vessels constrict and when the skin is exposed to heat, blood vessels dilate and become wider. When this constriction and dilation of blood vessels occurs too quickly, damage to the vessels can occur and fluid can leak into the surrounding tissue causing inflammation and a chilblain.

Chilblain diagnosis

Chilblains are easily diagnosed clinically by our Melbourne podiatrists, who are experts in identifying skin conditions of the foot without the need for further tests. Our podiatrists can also test your foot circulation to see if you might be more prone to chilblains.

Podiatry treatment for chilblains

The best form of treatment for chilblains is prevention. If you have cold feet or a history of chilblains you should avoid exposure to extremely cold temperatures. Try and keep the feet consistently warm by wearing thick socks. Wear slippers at home and avoid walking barefoot on cold floor boards or bathroom tiles.

If you develop chilblains then our Melbourne podiatrists can advise you on the best treatment. This includes devices to reduce pressure on painful lesions, which can help prevent your chilblains from breaking down into ulceration. We can also advise you on the best creams and products to help reduce inflammation and promote healing. At our Melbourne clinic we also offer paraffin wax foot bath treatments which can help promote circulation and prevent chilblains if performed before the onset of winter.

Call us Melbourne Podiatrist

Has a podiatrist checked your feet for chilblains?

At our Melbourne foot clinic our podiatrists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. This includes diagnosis and treatment of chilblains.

So if you are suffering from painful chilblains, cold feet or poor foot circulation book an appointment with one of our friendly podiatrists today!