Chilblain

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Chilblain
ICD-10 T69.1
ICD-9 991.5
DiseasesDB 31219
eMedicine derm/322 

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Overview

Chilblains, also called perniosis or blain, when occurring on the feet, is a medical condition that is often confused with frostbite and trench foot. Chilblains are acral ulcers that occur when a predisposed individual is exposed to cold and humidity. Causes are idiopathic or manifestations of serious medical conditions that need to be investigated. Chilblains can be prevented by keeping the feet and hands warm in cold weather. Smoking cessation is advised. A consultation with a dermatologist is mandatory.

Symptoms

  • Ulceration of the digits and toes
  • Itchy skin inflammation
  • Skin redness
  • Toe skin inflammation
  • Finger skin inflammation
  • Earlobe inflammation

Duration

With treatment, chilblains usually heal within 3 weeks

Treatments

  • Keep area warm
  • Avoid scratching
  • Anti-itch creams, such as Calamine lotion
  • Zambuk ointment
  • Nifedipine may be used in more severe or recurrent cases.[1] Its vasodilation helps reduce pain, facilitate healing and prevent recurrences.[2]

Prevention

  • Avoid cold exposure
  • Wear gloves
  • Use warm footwear
  • Keep hands and feet warm
  • Healthy diet
  • Exercise
  • High doses of vitamin K

See also

Footnotes

  1. Rustin M, Newton J, Smith N, Dowd P (1989). "The treatment of chilblains with nifedipine: the results of a pilot study, a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized study and a long-term open trial". Br J Dermatol. 120 (2): 267–75. PMID 2647123. 
  2. Simon T, Soep J, Hollister J (2005). "Pernio in pediatrics". Pediatrics. 116 (3): e472–5. PMID 16140694. 

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