Chilblains are painful, red, swellings that occur on the tips of the toes and fingers. This happens when there is a sudden expansion of the blood vessels. The tips of our fingers and toes have tiny blood vessels that are exposed to the weather conditions.
For people who live in places having a cold climate, or for those who are exposed to the sudden change of climates, the possibility of chilblains is more. The warming causes the blood to flow into the nearby tissues, resulting in chilblain.
The main cause of the formation of chilblain is the sudden constriction of the blood vessel when exposed to the cold climate. The blood vessel becomes narrow, and the flow of blood is less.
Then, the skin is exposed to a sudden increase in temperature. At this point, the blood vessel expands suddenly causing plenty of blood to flow to that area. The causes the blood to flow into the nearby tissues, and this results in red swellings.
- Family history
- Poor nutrition
- Sensitivity to the cold
- Hormonal changes
- Poor blood circulation
The natural conditions augment the formation of chilblains while at times, this may be brought on due to the bodily conditions.
Symptoms of Chilblains
The usual symptoms are the formation of red swellings. These occur at the tips of the fingers and toes as the skin is thin at these places.
- The high sensitivity at the tips of the fingers and toes will result in the abnormal flow of blood.
- The tips of the nose and the ear lobes could also become affected. You can sometimes see the chilblains form at the tip of the nose or on the ear lobes.
- There is the possibility that the chilblains could affect the lower legs, thigh, and heels.
The conditions will remain that way until you give the proper treatment. Sometimes, when the occurrence is only minor, the conditions will return to normal on its own.
Natural home remedies for Chilblains
Ginger and mint soak
This is the recommended foot soak for people with chilblains. The soak improves the blood circulation and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
- To prepare the soak, boil sliced ginger (about 20 grams) and mint leaves (10 leaves) in 5 cups of water.
- When the water comes to boil, remove and cool.
- Pour into the basin for the soak.
- Soak your feet for 20 minutes.
This herb has anti-inflammatory properties. Calendula reduces pain and can be used to treat chilblains. It helps the healing process.
- Take a handful of calendula flowers and boil it in 2 cups of water.
- Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.
- After the solution cools down add some sea salt to it.
- Soak the parts that have chilblains in this solution for 15-20 minutes.
Black pepper corns and sesame oil
One of the most popular treatments for chilblains is to use black pepper corns and sesame oil. You must fry the pepper corns in the oil. Remove all the corns from the oil and use the oil for the massage. Use the oil on the affected portions.
- Use the massage once a day
- Do not use if the skin is cracked or broken.
Use of raw onions for chilblains has been known since the olden times. This uses the anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiseptic properties of the onion. It helps reduce itching and the pain. There is a lesser chance of infection, and the swelling reduces appreciably.
- Cut an onion into thick slices.
- Rub over the affected parts and leave it for 10 minutes.
- Rinse with water and wipe with wash cloth.
- Do this two or three times a day.
Glycerine with wheat flour
Glycerine has protective action for the skin. So, the combined action with wheat flour is to trap the heat of the body inside. The warmth of the body will help to cure the chilblains.
- Take the white of one egg and add one tablespoon of honey.
- Now add one tablespoon of glycerine and mix gently.
- Add the wheat flour and bring to uniform consistency.
- Use this as a cover for your chilblain.
You can use garlic for treating chilblains as it shows an immediate defect in reducing inflammation. Garlic has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It shows quick healing action.
- Apply garlic oil to the affected parts. Do a gentle massage.
- You will benefit by adding garlic to your diet.
This vegetable is great at reducing the itchiness of chilblains. You can use turnips in two ways.
- First, boil the turnip in water. Set the water aside for soaking your feet.
- The second way is to use the turnip itself. Mash it and add glycerine. Use this as a soothing paste on the parts affected by chilblains.
Lemon is good for easing the irritation and treating the chilblains.
- Cut a lemon and extract the juice.
- Rub this juice on the affected portions.
- Let it soak for a while before you wash it off with warm water. It acts very fast on the chilblains.
Also Read: Lemon water benefits
Warm vegetable oil
This cure is useful due to the health-giving properties of vegetable oil. The warm oil stimulates the blood flow and helps to soothe the irritation. You may add the juice of a lemon too since this will help to cure chilblains faster.
- Take 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Heat it gently.
- Use a cotton swab to apply the oil to the affected parts.
Exercise helps improve the blood circulation and raise the body temperature. By doing some basic exercises, you help to normalize the blood flow. If you are up to it, you must try some cardiovascular exercises as these have the best effect.
- Stand with your legs apart and arms horizontally pointed.
- Jump and bring your arms to your sides and legs together.
- Now, jump and go back to the original position.
- Repeat as many times as you wish.
Low body weight and smoking aggravate the conditions of chilblain. Maintain a healthy diet and avoid exposure to the cold. Elevate your legs and hands by placing them on pillows.
At times, it may be the poor diet that is the culprit. In this case, you must eat food rich in calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and fibre. Add sesame seeds, oats, and almonds to your diet.