Chilblains (Pernio) are Common- Here is How to Manage this Skin Condition
Have you ever suffered from inflammation or redness on your fingers and toes during extreme weathers? This seems to be a normal condition but can only be particularly found in people with sensitive skin. This is a medical condition called Chilblains.
Chilblains are skin conditions or small lesions that are caused by the inflammation of tiny blood vessels, which is due to exposure to extremely cold air. This medical condition has several names, such as perniosis and cold-induced vascular disorder.
This is not considered a serious illness and is completely treatable and preventable if you just give it the right attention and care. To know about these treatments and precautionary measures, read the detailed article presented by Dr. Nivedita Dadu, a renowned skin doctor in Delhi and Founder & Chairman of Dadu Medical Centre.
What are Chilblains and their Symptoms?
Chilblains is a skin condition which occurs when an individual is exposed to extreme cold, which leads to tissue damage. The main symptoms of chilblains are the damage to the capillary beds in the skin, which causes redness, itching, inflammation, and blisters. These are the patches of skin that appear swollen and red, or sometimes blue in color. Due to the swelling, they may look shiny as well.
Dr. Nivedita Dadu explains, "To diminish these side effects, it is encouraged to keep your feet and hands warm in cold climates and individuals who have chances of getting exposed to them should stay away from outrageous temperature changes." Chilblains happen when our skin goes through abrupt temperature changes, for example, assuming that the temperature is turned from an extreme cold to unexpectedly warm temperature. For this situation, when the skin gets cold, the blood vessels close to the surface become narrower, and when the skin contacts heat, the blood vessels become wider, and this unexpected change makes the veins neglect to deal with the abrupt expansion in blood stream. ‘This further leads the blood to spill into the surrounding tissue, which causes swelling and itchiness that causes chilblains,’ explains the expert dermatologist, Dr. Nivedita Dadu.
Chilblain Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies
As per the studies, the exact cause of chilblains is still unknown. However, it is speculated that this is the skin reaction noted when the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Moreover, when the body reenters the rewarming stage, it causes the expansion of small blood vessels more rapidly as compared to large blood vessels, leading to lesions. Nonetheless, there are certain chilblains risk factors that one must look out for:
- Tight Clothing: Avoid wearing very tight, fitted clothes and those of friction-causing material; it can lead to chilblains, also avoid wearing tights socks compressing on the skin.
- Environment: As discussed earlier, extreme weather changes such as cold and humid climates are the major causes of chilblains. So, if you live in extreme climatic conditions, you must be a little more proactive to avoid this disease.
- Poor Blood Circulation: Because this condition is related to blood circulation, poor blood circulation can trigger it and expose you to its effects.
- Immune Disorder: The several autoimmune conditions can also lead to chilblains. So, it is advisable to improve your immune system.
Below mentioned are some tips that can be used to keep this problem away:
- Keep yourself away from rapid climate change. Wear socks, a jacket, gloves, and shoes if the temperature is below freezing.
- To keep your blood circulation at a good level, it is suggested to do exercise daily as it will reduce the risk factor for chilblains.
- The best way to avoid the is to use lukewarm water instead of hot water, as a sudden change in body temperature can worsen them.
- Keep your feet and hands moisturized on a regular basis to prevent drying and cracking.
- To keep your body warm in the winter, eat dry fruits, warm foods, and fruits.
- One should avoid the use of drugs or medicines that cause constriction of blood vessels. This also includes decongestants, tea, coffee, etc. to keep chilblain risk away.
Dr. Nivedita Dadu concluded that "Chilblain is not a serious condition and there is nothing to worry about. It can be tackled with the right aids, as explained above."
However, if you get them often, they don’t appear to recuperate, or if you get them in warm seasons also, then there are chances of underlying conditions which require legitimate treatment. In such a case consult the expert doctor at, top skin clinic in Delhi, Dadu Medical Centre in Delhi in Rajouri Garden (West Delhi) or Vasant Vihar (South Delhi) for a consultation with the expert skin doctor regarding chilblains treatment.