We often hear or see winter seasons being portrayed as one of the best things to happen to people, especially for people living in tropical countries where winter seasons promise cold temperatures or snow that is rare to be seen or felt. Despite how fun and exhilarating it seems to be living in the winter, some people might be affected by such a climate and need medicine to help them feel better. One of the diseases that is often associated with cold temperature is chilblains.
Chilblains are characterised by small, itchy and painful lumps on the skin. It is an abnormal reaction towards low temperature or cold conditions. Such temperature triggers reduction of blood flow to the skin. This is a way of the body trying to preserve the body heat from escaping to the surroundings. Chilblains often occur after exposure to cold but not to freezing temperatures.
You probably wonder why you suddenly get chilblains. Chilblains happen right after exposure to cold temperature as a means of the body trying to maintain the normal body temperature. In some cases, chilblains may develop several hours after getting exposed to cold. Initially, chilblains appear in a white or slightly bluish appearance of the finger and toes. Soon enough, a person will experience burning and itching of the lumps that have formed on the affected area. This causes the skin being affected by chilblain to become swollen and in a blanchable red colour. At times, it may turn into dark blue or purple discoloration. In severe cases, the affected skin may turn into sore or blisters. Chilblains can last for more than 24 hours.
If you are still wondering why you suddenly get chilblains, you may want to understand more about those who are at high risk for developing it. In general, everyone is at risk for getting chilblains when they are exposed to cold or damp environments for a long time and not wearing suitable attire to protect themselves in low temperatures. A person is likely to develop chilblains if they have sensitive skin or have cold intolerance. Those with medical conditions that compromise blood flow such as Raynaud’s disease or Raynaud’s phenomenon are likely to develop chilblains. Those with systemic lupus erythematosus and HIV are also likely to get chilblains.
Most cases of chilblains do not need specific medical treatments. Chilblains may resolve on its own even without treatments in less than 2 weeks. However, many will find children an uncomfortable experience and to get relief means a world to them. The most important thing to do first when experiencing chilblains is to slowly warm up the affected area. Slow warming allows the blood vessels to expand at a slow rate. In contrast, rapid exposure to heat may cause the blood vessels unable to withstand the abrupt pressure from the increased blood flow which then may lead to further swelling. Wear layers of warm clothes, gloves and socks to slowly warm the body. Never directly warm the affected area in hot water or directly on hot surfaces such as radiators. Soothing lotion such as calamine can be used to reduce symptoms of chilblains.
It can be concluded that you do get sudden chilblains just from exposure to the cold temperature. Getting medical advice should be considered when you experience chilblains symptoms for the first time or if the pain gets severe even after home remedies. Taking supplements such as vitamin B may be helpful to help improve blood circulation that is associated with chilblains. You may be prescribed certain medications such as calcium channel blocker to help improve the blood circulation system and corticosteroids cream to ease the pain. Also read : Dengue prevention.