Chiblains are small,
red lumps on the skin which can be itchy and painful. They are usually found on
the feet, hands and face as a response to cold weather.  This winter, I have seen many patients
with this painful condition and it is often unrecognised.


  • Poor circulation
  • Warming-up skin too quickly
  • Not changing out of wet shoes/socks promptly
  • Not wearing the correct footwear when out in winter weather


  • Some people seem to be more prone to chilblains than others
  • As the skin re-warms, there can be some leakage from the
    blood vessels to the tissues which become inflamed
  • They are very itchy and are often accompanied by a burning sensation
  • Sometimes they can blister which take longer to heal
  • They take about a week to heal, usually on their own


  • Always wear warm socks in cold weather. If you are prone to
    chilblains you may want to consider heated ones
  • If you are skiing, many ski resorts provide heated boots
  • Change wet socks/shoes as soon as possible
  • After being out in the cold, do not warm-up the feet quickly
    with heaters, hot-water bottles, etc.
  • Creams such as Akilwinter by Akileda ,may help prevent
    chilblains and frostbite


  • Chilblains usually go away on their own
  • Chilblain creams can reduce  inflammation and itching. Marigold oil is also thought to be
  • Smoking makes chilblains worse
  • If chilblains reoccur, then your G.P. can prescribe
    medication to open the small blood vessels