Do you get red, itchy and swollen toes in winters? Does your problem goes away in warm weather only to come back in winters? Then, you are suffering from “Chilblains or Perniosis”. In this article, we have listed natural remedies for chilblains tried and tested by dermatologist.

Let us first understand the reason of getting chilblains. In normal circumstances, when environment temperature increases, blood vessel dilate to allow more blood to flow. On cold stimulus, the blood flow decreases with narrowing of vessels.

Chilblains occur because your blood vessel can’t shrink or dilate with the change in environmental temperature. When there is rapid increase in temperature, the blood flow increases, but blood vessels fails to dilate. The excess blood seeps out of capillaries into the skin. Increase blood in the skin leads to redness, itching, burning, swelling and bumps on skin.

At dermatologist clinic, we give medication(listed at the end of the article) to severe cases of chilblains. Most of the cases, respond to natural remedies of chilblains listed below.

1 Avoid rapid change in temperature

It is not cold that cause chilblains. Rapid heating and cooling is the primary culprit.

Avoid rapid cooling and heating.  Few simple yet effective tips are:

  • Do not take your gloves out on a cold windy day.
  • Avoid putting your hands in cold water.
  • Avoid strong heat even in extreme cold.
  • Use warm heat source
  • Wear gloves and socks to keep hands and feet warm.

Watch this video to know more:

2 Gingko Biloba for Chilblains

Gingko Biloba herb reduces chilblains by activating  blood circulation. Akilhiver Akilwinter Chilblains Cream has this herb along with calendula, glycyrrhetinic acid, D-panthenol that can help in reducing chilblains.

chilblains cream

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Another product 911 Panthenol has seven potent skin repairing and soothing ingredients. It can also can help in relieving the symptoms of chilblains.

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3 Mustard oil for  Chilblains

Ayurveda specifically mentions Mustard oil for treating chilblains. Massage mustard oil on your hand and feet twice a day. This will warm up your skin and improve circulation. If you get reddeness, irritation or rash with mustard oil, then replace with coconut oil.

4 Lavendar oil for Chilblains

Lavender oil can help in improving blood circulation.  Put 15 drops of lavender oil in 1 ounce or 30 ml of mustard oil. Massage the mixture on hands and feet twice a day. You can also add peppermint, myrrh, and rosemary oil to mustard oil, as discussed in this article home remedy for chilblains.

5 Avoid dryness and trauma

Dryness triggers chilblains and moisturiser provides insulation and prevents heat loss. Thus, always put thick moisturiser several times in a day.  Apply petrolatum jelly, coconut oil or any thick cream each time you feel dryness or stretch in your hands or feet.
Avoid tight shoes because they can aggravate your problem.

6 Keep your body warm

Keep core body temperature warm by:

  • Wear warm clothing: Several layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing provide better protection than single thick one. Do not forget to cover your head, ears, neck and hand and feet as well.
  • Eat warm meals.
  • Add more spices like ginger, black pepper, thyme, turmeric to your meal or make a tea using these herbs. They help in warming up your body and improve circulation.
  • Avoid cold drinks and cold and raw food like salads.

7 Improve blood circulation

The key issue of chilblains is stagnant blood flow. Exercise regularly or do any physical activity to improve the blood circulation. Avoid smoking because it impede blood flow. Abdominal breathing might also help.

8 Consult Doctor

Consult a doctor if the chilblains get worse despite taking above measure. You may also need expert care in case of  blisters, ulcers or infection.

The dermatologist prescribes following based on your condition:

  • Topical Nitroglycerine: It helps by dilating the vessels and improving peripheral circulation.
  • Oral Nifedipine: It is treatment of choice. But, it causes headache and dizziness.
  • Pentoxyphyline: It works by improving circulation and is well tolerated.
  • Steroid creams are used, only if you have associated eczema.
  • Topical and oral antibiotics: They are given for secondary infection.

At the end, I would like to confess that “prevention is better than cure” in cases of chilblains. Therefore, do try all the natural remedies of chilblain given in this article. These natural remedies have helped many of my patients.

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