How to Get Rid of Chilblains
Chilblains are red, swollen patches of skin and blisters that may appear on your hands and feet after exposure to extreme cold.Once you get chilblains, you may have to wait for them to disappear on their own. However, you can take steps to decrease your discomfort. If your chilblains do not improve or you get them multiple times, then you may need medical treatment to get rid of them. You can also do some things to prevent chilblains if this is a recurring problem for you.
Using Self-Care Treatments
Use calamine lotion or witch hazel for itching.Chilblains can be extremely itchy, but scratching them may result in an infection. To ease the itchiness of chilblains without scratching, apply some calamine lotion or witch hazel onto your chilblains using a cotton ball. Both work well, so use whichever you have on hand.
- Don't rub the lotion or witch hazel into your chilblains. Just dab it on gently.
Apply lanolin to your feet or hands.Lanolin can help to soothe itching and to moisturize your skin around the chilblains. Apply lanolin all over your feet or hands.
- Do not press too hard when you apply the lanolin. Smooth it onto your skin with light, gentle strokes.
- Apply lanolin before applying witch hazel or calamine lotion.
Put on a pair of warm socks or mittens.It is important to avoid warming up your feet or hands too quickly when they get cold. Changing into a pair of warm socks or putting on a pair of warm mittens or gloves will help to warm up your feet gradually.
- Wool and thick cotton socks or mittens are good options.
Do some light exercise.Getting the blood flowing to your extremities may also help to treat chilblains. Try walking in place or pacing back and forth indoors to get the blood flowing.
- Avoid doing anything too vigorous. This may irritate your chilblains.
Seeking Medical Help
Call your doctor if chilblains do not improve or are recurring.Chilblains usually get better after a couple of weeks, so you may not need to do anything except wait. However, if your chilblains will not go away or if they keep coming back, see a doctor.
Ask your doctor about nifedipine.This medication can help to treat chilblains by relaxing the blood vessels and improving your circulation. Nifedipine is available by prescription, so you will have to see your doctor to get it.
- Nifedipine is a pill that you take 3 to 4 times daily. However, follow the dosing instructions your doctor or pharmacist gives you.
- Nifedipine is most commonly prescribed for high blood pressure. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any other medications you are taking to avoid potentially dangerous drug interactions.
Watch for signs of an infection.Sometimes chilblains may become infected. If this happens, you will need to see a doctor for a prescription antibiotic. Some symptoms of an infection include:
- Pus and/or swelling around your chilblains
- A temperature above 100.4 °F (38.0 °C)
- Feeling unwell in general
- Having swollen glands
Exercise regularly.Poor circulation is one of the main reasons why people get chilblains, so getting regular exercise may help to reduce your risk. Take a 30 minute walk daily or get up a few times per day to walk around your home or office.
Protect your skin in cold weather.Exposure to very cold temperatures is part of how chilblains develop, so it is important to wear appropriate outerwear when the weather is cold. Wear a coat, hat, mittens, warm socks, and boots.
Warm up gradually after exposure to extreme temperatures.Chilblains often form as a result of warming yourself up too quickly. Avoid quick methods of warming up, such as immersing your feet or hands in very warm water or standing close to a heater or fire.
Moisturize your feet and hands.Keeping your feet moisturized may help to reduce your risk of chilblains. Apply a thick layer of lotion to your hands and feet each day.
Quit smoking.Smoking increases your risk of chilblains. If you are a smoker, talk to your doctor. You may be able to get medication to help you quit.
Eat a hot meal before going out in the cold.Having at least 1 hot meal every day will help to keep you warm, and doing so right before you go out in cold weather can help even more. Eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, soup for lunch, or a hot casserole for dinner.
- You can also sip hot liquids during the day, such as tea, coffee, and broth.
QuestionWill rubbing onion on chilblains help?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt might. This is a popular home remedy, but there is no evidence to suggest it will cure chilblains.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if I have an open sore on my chilblain?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDon't scratch it and try to keep it clean and dry. Open sores from chilblains are more likely to become infected, so you may also want to see a doctor.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do you do if your skin is moist and in some areas hard, white and peeling?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should probably see a doctor. It sounds like the chilblains might have gotten infected.Thanks!
Video: How To Relieve Chilblains
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