Last winter we (and many foot specialists) noticed a sharp increase in the number of people we were treating with a condition called Chilblain’s.

chilblains affecting the toes

Chilblains is an inflammatory condition of small blood vessels that causes pain, itching redness and small blisters primarily affecting the toes. The picture shows a typical case.  

Chilblains usually occurs in response to cold, although it can also occur as a side effect of other conditions.

Many doctors have treated many more cases of Chilblains during this past winter than in any previous year. There was some thought initially that this was an effect of exposure to Covid-19. It turns out, however, that it is much more likely due to our changes in activity during the pandemic. As most of us are home more often and not wearing the shoes and socks that would normally keep our feet warm, our feet are simply exposed to cold more often and that this is causing the increase in Chilblains.

How to Prevent Chilblains

  • Wear warm socks and shoes even in the house. 
  • Keep your feet dry
  • Avoid tight fitting socks and shoes.

How to Treat Chilblains

Treatment will depend to some extent on the underlying cause. As exposure to cold is a primary cause, keeping your feet warm is critical. Often, keeping your feet warm is the only treatment that is necessary.

Contact us for an appointment and we will get you set on the best treatment for your particular condition.  Treatment for Chilblains may include:

  • Keeping your feet warm
  • Warm soaks
  • A topical steroid cream can help with itching
  • Medications that help open up the blood vessels
Doctors Hale and Huppin
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