Chilblains is a condition that affects the blood vessels that occur as a reaction to the cold. Also known as perniosis, chilblains are characterised by discolouration (typically red, blue or white), swollen and itchy skin.
Thought to be caused by a combination of poor peripheral circulation and cold weather, common sites for chilblains include:
Despite the discomfort, in many cases chilblains do not cause any permanent damage to tissue. Chilblains usually resolve on their own and symptoms may reduce as you warm up. However, if symptoms or pain do not resolve on their own, your healthcare practitioner may prescribe topical cortisone creams to reduce the swelling and itching or medications to expand the blood vessels and increase blood flow to the affected areas.
While wearing warm clothes and preparing for cold weather is usually sufficient in preserving core body temperature and thus reducing the risk of chilblains, individuals who suffer repeated bouts of chilblains may benefit from medical treatments that dilate the blood vessels.
 Better Health Channel (2014, May) Chilblains betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/chilblains
 Oakley (1999) Chilblains dermnetnz.org/topics/chilblains/
 Herndon (2019, March) Chilblains healthline.com/health/chilblains
 Health Direct (2020, February) Chilblains healthdirect.gov.au/chilblains
 Robb-Nicholson (2010, December) By the way, doctor: What can I do about chilblains? health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/what-can-i-do-about-chilblains