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The Causes and Treatment of Chilblains on the Foot

Chilblains are what is called a vasospastic disorder of the toes, even though they could in some cases impact other regions of the body. Vasospastic will mean that you will find a spasm of the very small muscles that encompass the small capillaries. Chilblains come about if the toes becomes cold and the small arteries close to help save warmth, which usually is quite normal. As the feet gets warm, those blood vessels normally open. With a chilblain a result of the vasospasm these smaller arteries continue being closed for longer. Because of this, metabolites and waste material build up within the epidermis causing an inflamation related response that is the chilblain. The arteries then suddenly open producing more irritation as well as tissue damage. At this stage they are simply red-colored and are usually itchy. At a later time as waste material build up and they become more chronic, chilblains take on a dark bluish appearance. Whilst the mechanism through which they happen is known, precisely what triggers the chilblain is uncertain. Chilblains are certainly more frequent in women hinting that there could be hormone influences on how the arteries responds to changes in the temperature.

The best remedy for chilblains is always to not have them from the start. Avoidance is best carried out by not allowing the feet to get cold. Keep the feet in good socks and shoes and steer clear of venturing out in the cold if you can. In the event the foot can become cold, then it is important that the feet be allowed to warm up slowly and gradually in order for the blood flow to correctly adapt to the changes in temperature. One of the worst things you can do after the feet are cold is to place the foot promptly in front of a source of heat. Another technique to avoid chilblains, primarily if the individual who typically gets chilblains severely, is to try using medicine that help keep your blood vessels open. While this will appear to work quite well, it can have side affects mainly because it has an effect on all arteries, not only those in the toes.

When a chilblain may happen, then the foot should be protected from further damage and breaking down into an open wound. The measures mentioned above in order to avoid chilblains still ought to be practiced or the chilblain will become a chronic problem. There are various creams that can be used to be rubbed in to help stimulate the circulation and encourage healing. There is certainly some debate around just what could be the most reliable treatments to use, since there is very little proof supporting using one over another. Despite chilblains being a reasonably common problem, it is intriguing just how little research has been carried out on it.