What is Chilblains?


Share This Post

What is Chilblains?


Chilblains, also known as perniosis, is a condition that occurs in response to cold weather.  It is characterized by the inflammation of small blood vessels in the skin, typically on the toes, fingers, nose or ears.  Chilblains are more common in cold and damp conditions and affect susceptible individuals, often those with poor circulation.

Chilblains do not cause lasting damage.  They usually heal in a few weeks.  They’re not the same as frostbite, which is more serious.  The affected area might stay sensitive to cold after they heal.

Symptoms of Chilblains

  • Red or purple discoloration of the skin.
  • Itching or burning sensation.
  • Swelling.
  • Blisters may develop in severe cases.
  • The affected area may become painful.


  • Keep the body warm in cold weather.
  • Dress in layers to maintain body temperature.
  • Wear warm, waterproof footwear.
  • Avoid sudden temperature changes.
  • Keep extremities warm and dry.

How are chilblains treated?

The best treatment is staying warm and protecting your affected skin.  You need to keep your whole body warm, not just your feet and hands.  This keeps your warm blood circulating.

Other self-care measures include the following:

  • Try to avoid scratching, which can cause infection.
  • Use a moisturiser to relieve the itching.
  • Massage the affected area if it’s not too painful or ulcerated.

Once you have had chilblains they can come back.  This can happen even after brief exposure to cold.  So, it’s important to stay warm.

Chilblains usually resolve on their own without complications.  In rare cases, complications such as infection or ulceration may occur.

Are you suffering from any foot condition?  At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help.  One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track. Podiatrist South Kensington
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000


We hope you have a feetastic day!

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team



Learn more about Fungal Nails

More To Explore

walking barefoot

Why You Shouldn’t Walk Around Barefoot

Why You Shouldn’t Walk Around Barefoot   Going barefoot feels great, whether you’re at the beach wiggling your toes in the sand or strolling on

Chiropodist Chelsea SW10

Paola Ash at the Chelsea Clinic

At The Chelsea clinic we have a very specific skill set with regards the foot and ankle. Pleased to offer a bespoke service which is tailored to the individual. With over 20 years experience in the Fitness and Healthcare industry we are registered and qualified with the Health Care Professions Council, the College of Podiatry and the General Osteopathic Council.