Chilblains: what they are, causes, symptoms and what to do

Chilblains: what they are, causes, symptoms and what to do

This episode of "Daily Health Pills" explains why chilblains appear, who is most at risk and advises us what to do

Chilblains, or in scientific terms erythema pernio, during the cold season affect the peripheral sites such as fingers and toes, the heel, the tip of the nose and the ears. Mostly children and young women suffer from it. Anorexia and bulimia, or eating disorders, can be predisposing factors.

When and how chilblains appear

As for the period of appearance, chilblains are more common in the fall and winter. They particularly affect people who are accustomed to temperate climates and quickly find themselves in cold and humid environments.

There are several forms of pernium erythema. There are cases where the lesions arrange themselves in plaques and appear on the thighs of young women and children who ride horseback or wear tight pants. We are talking about a picture that should also be known on the demonstration front.

Chilblains typically appear suddenly. These are single or multiple, red or bluish lesions, which tend to be raised on the skin. Sometimes they can be accompanied by blisters and create lesions, that is, skin ulcers, especially in the elderly.

It happens because there may be peripheral vascular insufficiency or even a risk factor for the heart, such as high cholesterol, which facilitate damage to the arteries and therefore make it more difficult to move to the skin. Sometimes chilblains can be associated with real diseases. This is the case with systemic lupus erythematosus.


As for countermeasures, prevention is fundamental. It is always necessary to remember the importance of proper domestic heating and the use of warm and comfortable clothes. Be careful when you change environment, going from a temperate zone to colder climates.

Chilblains tend to resolve in a few weeks, only if they are related to anorexia or other eating disorders can they persist even a few years after returning to an acceptable weight. If you have any such problems, always talk to your doctor.

To follow the daily health pill "I chilblains", click and listen here

“Daily Health Pills” is Tipsforwomens TakeCare's podcast series, curated by Federico Mereta. In each episode we talk about prevention, care and good habits.

Category: Health
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