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Chilblains, oh yes that’s what granny suffered from in the old days! Well hold on a moment because you would be wrong. When winters are cold we see plenty of cases coming into the clinic. Usually people have no idea from what they are suffering, they just know that they have a bright red, shiney toe that is itchy and painful.

Chilblains occur when small blood vessels under the skin shrink as the skin becomes cold. This produces a lack of blood supply to the given area. Cold pavements, prolonged standing around in chilled conditions can easily cause this to happen particularly if you have poor circulation. When the area is then warmed up rapidly ( eg. putting your feet up in front of a fire or even resting them on a radiator ) there is a blood leakage into the surrounding tissue. This is what causes the inflammation and redness associated with a chilblain. The condition can last for up to two weeks in some cases.

Therefore if you haven’t already asked leave subtle hints about thermal socks as a xmas pressie!

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