Chilblains are painful, red, itchy, inflamed areas of the skin, affecting the feet or hands and occasionally the ears. The condition is more common in women than men but mainly affects children or the elderly with bad circulation or poor health.
The condition is due to an irregular supply of blood to the affected areas and can be triggered by changes in extreme heat or cold, tight ill fitting shoes or damp conditions. If neglected the skin can become raw and ulcerated as a result of the intense itching and scratching.
Creams are available from the chemist to help relieve the symptoms. However, preventative treatment is best; avoid changes in extreme heat or cold, wear warm clothing, wear adequate footwear, improve diet and take up regular exercise to improve circulation.
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