GenHealth Hamilton


Why are my toes so cold and sore?

Have you noticed red shiny dots on your toes? Haven’t changed shoes recently, but wondering why you have sore blisters? Are your feet always cold? If this sounds like you, then it’s pretty likely that you have chilblains.

What is a chilblain?

Blain means an inflamed sore, that affects your extremities (ears, nose, toes, fingers.
Chilblains look red, shiny, swollen, and can appear like a blister. In some cases they can release fluid, and then become infected.

Why would I get these?

You get chilblains when an extreme temperature change occurs. For example the first few frosty mornings in autumn, or arriving in a new cold climate from a warm one. A common cause is not wearing warm (or any) socks,, having very cold feet then jumping in a hot shower. It’s the sudden change, rather than being in the same temperature consistently.

People most likely to suffer from chilblains

The elderly, children, smokers, people with little body fat or those with a compromised vascular system. Chilblains are not ‘inherited’ or ‘genetic’, but your body’s ability to regulate blood flow can be similar in families.

What do I do if I have chilblains?

  • Prevent extreme temperature changes to your feet. If you get home and your feet are cold, try to warm them gradually with a pair of warm socks, or slippers before you get in the shower.
  • Wear warm layers on your core
  • Wear slippers in your house (keep your feet off the ground)
  • Wear good quality shoes with a thick sole for warmth
  • Good quality woollen socks: Aim for at least 65 % wool content in the sock.
  • Rub any kind of cream or moisturiser on the chilblains – this will encourage blood flow, and can help ease symptoms.

The chilblain should disappear within 2-3 weeks

How can I prevent chilblains?

Everything above!

  • Invest in some good quality warm woollen socks for winter
  • Keep your feet dry and warm
  • Avoiding extreme temperature changes

Chilblains are preventable, and easily avoided!

The best way to prevent them is to get your feet into some warm socks and good shoes, before the cold snap hits.

If you would like more information, help with treating your chilblains or to buy some warm woollen socks come see us at gen health! Here is a handy link to book your appointment today.

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