Chilblains are the general skin condition which affects people because of the cold weather. This condition is known to affect mostly women. The skin becomes dry and itchy by the lack on body oils and moisture and it cracks developing itch and infection. The color of the skin also turns red and it becomes hard to do normal activities in advanced stages which require professional treatment.
Synonym: Erythema Pernio
People with poor peripheral circulation and sometimes with poor general health are the victims. It is more common among females than males. It occurs on the fingers and toes only during the cold weather; it usually subsides completely in summers. When there is exposure to cold, itching, tenderness and burning sensation develops. The fingers and toes become dusky red and cold. Itchy swelling also develop, occasionally these ulcerate. On healing there is no scarring except where there has been ulceration.
Chilblains may be associated with acrocyanosis, erythrocyanosis crurum and acrosclerosis.
It is distinguished from lupus erythematosus, which may even complicate chilblains. In lupus erythematosus of the hands, bluish red slightly infiltrated and scaly lesions develop on the backs of fingers, accompanied by typical lesions on the face. When one come across chronic whitlows and erosions on the fingers or toes, the possibility of chilblains must be considered.
It is rather unsatisfactory, the main emphasis on poor nutrition, improvement of general health with tonics and warm clothings. The hands and feet must be kept warm with gloves and woollen stockings. Sudden changes of temperature like exposing parts of the body to cold and then warming them near a fire, act badly on the malady. For this reason, central heating is very useful. Drug therapy inclues a course of thyroids, nicotinic acid and vitamin K - Pernavit, Priscol, Duvadilan and locally UVR exposures, lead lotion and galvanic baths. All these may have to be tried one by one, since in one case, one may succeed and in another, it may fail. There is no specific drug available for chilblains.
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