Chilblains Can Happen in the Spring, Too


Spring is here and temperatures are rising. For most patients, cold feet are a thing of the past, at least until winter comes around again. For a few, there’s still enough chill in the air to lead to the uncomfortable condition known as chilblains or pernio.

Chilblains causes painful swelling of the blood vessels in your skin in response to repeated exposure to cold air. Chilblains creates symptoms on the feet and occasionally hands that can include redness, burning, itching, swelling, and blistering.

If you are susceptible to chilblains, remember the old saying, “the best defense is a good offense.” That is, it’s easier to prevent symptoms from appearing than it is to make them go away. Be sure to keep feet warm with wool socks, which are available in a variety of weights and price points. If feet get damp, be sure to dry them well and get back into socks and shoes as soon as possible. Don’t go barefoot; wear slippers while at home.

Chilblains usually go away on their own in a few days and don't usually result in permanent injury. But it is important to note that the condition can lead to infection, which may cause severe damage if left untreated, especially in men and women with limited circulation, such as people who have been diagnosed with Raynaud’s disease or diabetes. If you notice symptoms, you should be seen by your foot doctor, who will likely offer treatment options including topical and oral medications.

Are you concerned about chilblains or anything else related to the health or well-being of your feet, ankles, or lower legs? Click here or call Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. at 410-224-4448 to schedule a convenient appointment with James M. McKee, DPM, FACFAS in our comfortable podiatry office on in Annapolis, MD. Dr. McKee will draw on his decades of specialized education and experience to conduct a thorough examination of your feet and arrive at an accurate diagnosis, then work with you to create an individualized plan for effective treatment and appropriate follow up care.